Lionesses World Cup Squad Announced
Sarina Wiegman has named her 23 player World Cup Squad that will head to Australia and New Zealand this summer
Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman has revealed her 23 player squad that will travel to Australia for this summer’s World Cup.
Expected additions include the likes of goalkeepers Mary Earps, Ellie Roebuck and Hannah Hampton, as well as the Manchester United pairing of Alessia Russo and Ella Toone.
However, the biggest talking points are the absence of Arsenal superstar and Euro 2022 golden boot winner Beth Mead , who despite being subject to some speculation, misses out as she continues her recovery from her ACL injury, whilst Tottenham Hotspur’s Bethany England makes the cut after an incredible second half of the season since her move to North London in January, scoring 12 goals in as many games.
When questioned on if there was a possibility of Mead ever making the squad, Wiegman said: “No I don’t think so. Beth is so positive and she’s going really well, but we said with the time schedule she has, we would have taken so many risks to try get her to the World Cup.”
On England’s inclusion, Wiegman explained: “She made her move and played in a hard situation. How she did and how she performed and also how much resilience she showed, that made us make the decision to get her in the squad.”
Brighton and Hove Albion’s Katie Robinson also makes the cut after an impressive showing for both club and country, helping the Seagulls maintain their WSL status in the process.
Wiegman was full of praise for Robinson, saying: “She’s very talented and she has made a difference at Brighton. With us in our camp, she’s really showed quality too, so she made us choose her.”
Of course, a glaring absence is that of captain Leah Williamson, who joined Mead on the long-term injury list during Arsenal’s recent defeat to Manchester United.
Wiegman expressed her own disappointment in regards to Williamson’s situation, but offered a glimmer of optimism that the team can cope without her, saying: “Most of all for her it’s very disappointing and very sad, but that’s the same for Fran and the same for Beth. You have to move on too, and unfortunately this is part of top sports, that you can get injured.”
“We had Leah and the vice-captain was Millie,” was a key statement in Wiegman’s comments regarding last year’s European Championships that offered a clear indication that Chelsea’s Millie Bright would indeed be the team leader in Australia, this being confirmed by Wiegman simply saying “yeah” in response to the big question.
One decision that has left fans in shock is the decision to not have Manchester United’s Maya Le Tissier as part of the squad, the defender instead being placed on a reserve list alongside goalkeeper Emily Ramsey and Everton forward Jess Park.
On Le Tessier’s exclusion, Wiegman said: “She was really close, that was a hard call with all the defenders we had to think about.”
The debate about who should and shouldn’t have made it will no doubt rumble on in the coming days and weeks before England fly out to Australia, but little can be done to change the squad now. Despite the injury setbacks, this side will definitely remain a favourite to go all the way down under and bring football home once again.
Lionesses World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Ellie Roebuck, Hannah Hampton
Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Alex Greenwood, Esme Morgan, Lotte Wubben-Moy
Midfielders: Laura Coombes, Jordan Nobbs, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Katie Zelem
Forwards: Rachel Daly, Bethany England, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Katie Robinson, Alessia Russo