Phil Neville has opted for a mix of youth and experience as he names his squad for England’s October internationals.
The Lionesses step up their 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup preparations taking on Brazil at Notts County’s Meadow Lane [Saturday 6 October, kick-off 12.30pm] before hosting Australia at Craven Cottage [Tuesday 9 October, kick-off 7pm].
Everton’s Gabby George and Birmingham City’s Lucy Staniforth earned their maiden caps in last month’s World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan while Mary Earps, Hannah Blundell, Leah Williamson and Beth Mead made their first starts in Pavlodar – all are included once more.
Neville has also been able to welcome back Reading midfielder Fara Williams after England’s most-capped player was forced to withdraw through injury ahead of the last round of fixtures which saw the Lionesses secure their place in next summer’s finals.
Neville said: “We are looking forward to two challenging matches on home soil, against strong opposition both ranked in the top ten in the world.
“Both games form a crucial part of our World Cup preparations so it’s important in selecting this squad that we are doing so with a firm eye on the future and this summer’s tournament.
“Our experienced heads are vital but I’m also determined to give youngsters an opportunity. A clear pathway for players to progress from our youth teams into the senior squad is extremely important. As our younger players showed in our last qualifying game against Kazakhstan, they absolutely deserve it.
“It is a great chance for us to test ourselves and play in front of our home supporters in what will be two very important warm-up matches ahead of next summer’s World Cup.”
Tickets for both matches are priced at £10 for adults and £1 for concessions. Visit TheFA.com/Tickets for tickets to both matches, as well as for November’s fixture against Sweden [AESSEAL New York Stadium, Rotherham – Sunday 11 November at 13:30].
Both October internationals will be live on BT Sport 1.
Courtesy of the FA