England U23 to play 4 nations tournament in Norway at end of May

The England U23 team will play 3 games against Norway, Sweden and the USA in Norway at the end of May.

Games are played 60 miles South of Oslo with the closest airport being Oslo Rygge used by Ryanair from Stansted and Manchester. The two grounds are located 10 miles from each other and are easily accessible.

Here is the tournament schedule :

England U23 v Norway U23  Sarpsborg Stadion 27th of May  ko 19.30

England U23 v Sweden U23  Fredrikstad Stadion 29th of May ko 17.00

England u23 v USA U23  Sarpsborg Stadion 31st of May 1700

The full squad is :

Mary Earps (Bristol Academy), Alex Brooks (Manchester City)

Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Aoife Mannion (Birmingham City), Martha Harris (Liverpool), Jemma Rose (Arsenal), Meaghan Sargeant (Birmingham City)

Sherry McCue (Aston Villa), Kasia Lipka (Doncaster Rovers Belles) Jess Sigsworth (Notts County), Jade Bailey (Arsenal), Drew Spence (Chelsea), Hannah Dale (Liverpool), Lucy Staniforth (Liverpool)

Nikita Parris (Manchester City – on loan from Everton), Kirsty Linnett (Birmingham City), Dan Carter (Arsenal), Beth Mead (Sunderland), Mel Lawley (Birmingham )

Update 1 : Rebekah Bass has been called up to replace Beth Mead who is unavailaible

Update 2 :Chioma Ubogagu has been called up as well


FA WSL 1 mid season break statistics

Goalscorers :

1. Bethany Mead ( Sunderland), Rachel Williams ( Notts County) 4

3. Ellen White ( Notts County), Gemma Davison ( Chelsea), Brooke Chaplen ( Sunderland), Chioma Ubogagu ( Arsenal) 3

6. Nikki Watts ( Bristol), Nikita Parris ( Manchester City), Natalia Sanchon ( Arsenal), Carla Humphrey (Arsenal), Drew Spence ( Chelsea), Asisat Oshoala ( LIverpool), Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Fern Whelan ( Notts County) 2

Assists :

1. Alex Greenwood (Notts County) 5

2. Victoria Greenwell ( Sunderland) 3

3. Danielle Carter ( Arsenal), Rachel Williams ( Notts County), Asisat Oshoala ( Liverpool) Alex Scott ( Arsenal 2)

Red cards

1. Jill Scott ( Manchester City), Freda Ayisi ( Birmingham) Abby Homes ( Sunderland) 1

Yellow Cards

1. Jade Moore ( Birmingham ) 4

2. Kerys Harrop ( Birmingham), Sarah McFadden (Sunderland), Grace McCatty ( Bristol), Rebecca Easton ( Liverpool) 2

FA WSL 2 table after Matchday 7

Things are getting interesting at the top of the table with Saturday’s result. Last season’s was a clear 3 horses race that turned into a 2 horses race at the end of the season. This season, there have been a already and lot of twists and turns in the promotion race. Outsiders are chasing the top 2 teams with Yeovil and Millwall closing on them with 3 and 5 points only to catch up. At the bottom of the table London Bees are struggling with Watford 2 pts ahead of them.

1. Reading 16 pts +14

2. Doncaster 16 pts +11


3. Yeovil 13 pts +7

4. Millwall 11 pts +2

5. Oxford 10 pts -5

6. Everton 9 pts 1

7. Aston Villa 9 pts 0

8. Durham 7 pts -1

9. Watford 4 pts -9

10. London Bees 2 pts -20

Mark Sampson has named his 2015 World Cup squad, one big surprise

Mark Sampson has named his 23 players squad for the 2015 Women’s World Cup that will start on the 6th of June in Canada.

There are a few players left out that would have deserved to be there, some of them are dropped because the managers seems there are better players than them while others are probably dropped because they are considered as not fitting in with the team off the pitch. We know that a tournament last up to one month and you cannot have a disruptive attitude that compromise the whole camp as it has happened at Euro 2013 for England where it was a disaster on and off the pitch.

Here is the full squad :

Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal), Carly Telford (Notts County)

Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Alex Greenwood (Notts County), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Casey Stoney (Arsenal)

Katie Chapman (Chelsea), Jade Moore (Birmingham City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Liverpool)

Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Reading), Lianne Sanderson (Arsenal), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns), Ellen White (Notts County

If we compare it the squad that was selected by Hope Powell at the Euros 13 :

Bardsley, A Scott, Houghton, Stoney, Aluko, White, Williams, Carney, Duggan, Chamberlain, J Scott, Bassett, Nobbs, Moore, Bronze are still in.

8 players have been dropped. Smith has retired from international football. Brown has retired from football. Bradley has been consistently injured since the Euros. Yankey has never been called up by Mark Sampson and is just a sub those days at club level. Clarke, Susi, Bonner and Asante were deemed not good enough compared to other players.

4 players are back from the wilderness imposed or self imposed due to Hope Powell : Lianne Sanderson, Katie Chapman, Jo Potter and Jodie Taylor.

Carly Telford is back in goal after missing out a few tournaments. Alex Greenwood has been promoted from the youth teams. Claire Rafferty is back after coming back from her 3rd ACL injury. Fran Kirby is the new kids on the block the up and coming player.

Goalkeepers :

No surprise in the selection, considering she did not cover herself in glory in the previous tournament, it is bizzare to see Bardsley called up. I would have expected Spencer or Earps to be there as the third goalie and Telford to be the number one goalie.

Defenders :

Not sure why Stoney is there as she has had nearly no game time in the last season. Bonner has been consistent for the last two years with Liverpool, Flaherty for the last five years with Arsenal and Chelsea. It is obvious that Flaherty does not get a look in for non football related reasons. Stokes dropped is a huge surprise, you do not consistently select a player as a starter for a whole campaign to end up not taking him/her to the tournament. No one does that unless there is a huge reason. Obviously Rafferty is preferred to her and Greenwood stays in the squad because she can cover at center back and with only seven defenders, it makes sense to have the in form player in the squad. The only reason I can see for Stokes to be dropped is her average position on the pitch is too high and it could be costly at international level.

Midfielders :

No Asante who is the biggest player to miss out, 6 players only selected so obviously England will play with a midfield three or some of the players marked as forwards with play in midfield. This is a consistent selection with regards to previous squads. I think Asante is a much better player at defensive midfield than Williams who has more attacking qualities. England are more likely to be over-run in midfield with Williams on the pitch.


The only relative surprise is Ellen White back in the fold after a year out due to an ACL. She is in form so comes back just in time for the tournament. The other forwards were all regularly selected and it is not a surprise to see them here. Players who missed out : Dowie and Davison for non football related reasons ? ? Clarke who was not rated much by Sampson and maybe over-rated in the Powell years. Youngsters Mead and Parris had outside chances as they started the season well.

England 23 players squad for Canada as voted by you

There were a total of 131 answers, we will see today if it is close to Mark Sampson squad.

Goalkeepers (3)

CarlyTelford 117 votes

Siobhan Chamberlain 105 votes

Karen Bardsley 86 votes

Outfields (20)

Eniola Aluko 107 votes F1

Jordan Nobbs 106 votes M1

Karen Carney 98 votes F2

Jodie Taylor 97 votes F3

Katie Chapman 95 votes M2

Claire Rafferty 94 votes D1

Fran Kirby 94 votes F4

Lucy Bronze 90 votes D2

Jill Scott 90 votes M3

Stephanie Houghton 89 votes D3

Laura Bassett 87 votes D4

Lianne Sanderson 87 votes F5

Alex Scott 86 votes D5

Fara Williams 84 votes M4

Gemma Davison 83 votes  F6

Gemma Bonner 77 votes D6

Casey Stoney 76 votes  D7

Anita Asante 74 votes M5

Jo Potter 70 votes M6

Ellen White 66 votes  F7

3 Goalkeepers, 7 defenders, 6 midfielders and 7 forwards selected

Vote for your England 23 players squad for the World Cup 2015 in Canada

I thought it would be fun to create a fans’ vote and see who are the fans favourite. Note I have not listed every player available to Mark Sampson but I have probably 95% of all the candidates.



As of today the 7th of May at 09:00 there were 50 responses, results will be published on Monday morning prior to the official squad announcement, so that we can compare the fan’s squad list with Mark Sampson’s squad list.


My 23 players for the England 2015 World Cup squad

As Mark Sampson is about to name his final 23 squad for the World Cup in Canada, I thought I would share my own 23 players I would take to the world cup and explain why in term of balance and versatility. There is no doubt that this squad will be quite different from Mark Sampson’s one.

There are loads of things that happen in training that we do not see as well as what happens inside the group that explains why certain players are not selected, particularly for those who do not make it for not football related reasons.

Goalkeepers (3)

Carly Telford is the clear number one in England for me, she should have more caps considering the quality of the two main number one chosen ahead of her in the last 8 years. Technically very strong, explosive and her kicking is better than any of her competitors.

Siobhan Chamberlain should also have had more caps considering her level compared to Brown and Bardsley who regularly made mistakes in goal for club and country but never got dropped for reasons that I have never understood. Her lack of game time in the last two seasons means she can be the perfect number two goalkeeper, reliable if called upon during the tournament.

Rebecca Spencer should be my number three goalkeeper because she has accumulated a lot of experience with winning squads at Arsenal as a back up to Emma Byrne and was fundamental in Birmingham City Ladies getting to the Champions League semi-final last season. Also you need a player with a strong personality that will help the main keeper despite knowing that she will not get a game through the whole tournament.

Right backs (2)

Lucy Bronze is the best right back for me if she not injured, she can do everything you ask from a full back. She can tackle, defend well, she roams up and down the line with pace and can cross the ball. There are not many better right backs around the world.

Alex Scott would be a good back-up for Bronze. The experienced defender can do the same as Bronze but is not as strong technically on the ball and does not use it as well as Lucy. She has excellent pace as well.

Left backs (2)  

Claire Rafferty she is back from three ACL injuries and again is the typical modern full back, who can do everything in defense but also on the counter attack which is a big part of the full back job those days. She is very strong technically which is a must in this position and has the ability to pass and cross and find quick passing on the left wing.

Stephanie Houghton the current captain was excellent there in the London Olympics and would be a good back-up to Rafferty, she can also play in various positions on the pitch if needed.

Centre backs (3)

Gemma Bonner has been very consistent for double League champions Liverpool a tall center back, she brings stability at the heart of the defence.

Laura Bassett would complement Bonner well, she has been around the England squads for years but has rarely been given a consistent run. A classical centre back with a lot of experience and a strong personality and leadership.

Gilly Flaherty has played consistently well at center back for five or six seasons and is still uncapped. Again another case of why, when some of the call-ups through those years where not always logical. She can seamlessly slot at right or left center back without problems.

Defensive midfields (2)

Katie Chapman no one better to breakdown oppositions attack with her strength and power, she reads the game well and leads by example. She was unlucky to miss on many caps due to childcare problems with the previous England manager.

Anita Asante another experienced player who reads the game well and excel in that defensive role. Keeping the team’s balance sitting in front of the back four is a special job and she does it well. She can also cover at centre-back if needed.

Central midfields (3)

Jordan Nobbs the current vice-captain is a leader on the pitch always demanding the ball, organising the team and a dynamo that never stops running

Jill Scott is an experienced and intelligent box to box player who can also play higher on the pitch if needed. Also a threat on set pieces as she is one of the tallest player around.

Leah Williamson the youngster has shown an exceptional mental strength in the recent u19 Elite Round in Northern Ireland, she can play anywhere across the back four and in midfield. The perfect player to have on the bench learning from the experienced players and to come on as a sub.

Wingers (3)

Eniola Aluko the current form player for England, can create breaches in any defense with her pace

Karen Carney the veteran is an accomplished player who can play either at number 10 or on both wings, she is strong technical and can use both feet unlike many English players.

Gemma Davison another player who does not have the number of caps she deserves due to the previous England manager selecting her favourites in her position. There are not better English winger who can beat defenders one on one with her trickery and pace. She would be useful sub to come on and change a game either to win it or save it.

Forwards (5)

Fran Kirby has jumped on the international scene and adapted without problems despite playing in FA WSL 2. She is so quick and can finish well.

Toni Duggan has developed well through all the age groups and made a breakthrough at the 2013 Euros

Jodie Taylor another player who had been put aside by the previous management, she is strong has pace and can score goals. Since she has come back into the fold, she has been a valuable asset for the team

Ellen White following her ACL injury, she has come back in superb form. Like every striker, she needs confidence and at the moment she is just flying scoring for fun. She can also play on the wing if needed.

Natasha Dowie England do not really have another centre forward who can play with her back to the goal, hold it well with her strength and bring players in. Her tactical profile is different from the other forwards and is needed for certain times and certain moments in a game, either to close it off or to come back from behind.

Obviously some big names are not in my list, that’s why it is different from th eones that will be given by Mark Sampson.