Here we have a look at the players born in 95-97 that are playing in the FA WSL, FA WC in the lower division and at University in the USA.
Again it is important to note, this is not the full list of players born in those years, it is a list of players who were called up before by England at youth level. It means some late blossomer with a lot of qualities would not be not on that list.
The players currently in the FA WSL (12)
Jade Bailey (95) Chelsea
Paige Williams (95) Birmingham
Abbey-Leigh Stringer ( 95) Everton
Carla Humphrey (96) Bristol
Jodie Brett (96) Brighton
Mollie Bartrip (96) Reading
Rosella Ayane (96) Bristol
Vyan Sampson (96) West Ham
Georgia Brougham (96) Everton
Claudia Walker (96) Everton
Sarah Mayling ( 97) Birmingham
Jenna Legg (97) Brighton
Kirstie Levell (97) Everton
All those players are full time professional and therefore have the right profile for the FA scouts. It is a mix of players who suffered long term injuries and therefore did not manage to establish themselves for their team ( Bailey, Sampson, Legg). Someone like Ayane went abroad to rediscover her love of football.
Clearly all would benefit from playing U-23 international football as the step up to the Senior squad is a tough one and they will need to improve to reach the required level and closing the door to them probably means the end of the road the majority of them in an England shirt.
The players currently in the Championship (12)
Millie Turner (96) Manchester United
Katie Zelem (96) Manchester United
Ashlee Brown (96) Aston Villa
Taome Oliver (96) Leicester
Elisha N’Dow (96) Aston Villa
Coral-Jade Haines (96) Spurs
Mollie Green (96) Manchester United
Demi Lambourne (96) Leicester
Evie Clarke (97) Millwall
Eloise Wilson (97) London Bees
Alice Hassall (97) Aston Villa
Lucy Loomes (97) London Bees
Paula Howells ( 97) London Bees
So the majority of the Championship players are student or have a full time job, they are semi-professional, so the odds of a Championship player being called up for the Senior team are very low unless you play in professional environment in the Championship ie for Manchester United.
When you see that Phil Neville calls up Chioma Ubogagu because he has a lack of left footed winger, you would think that England would have tried to see if Paula Howells in the same position could step up by giving her games in the U-23 set-up. But if the staff consider that Rinsola Babajide is a better prospect as a left sided winger, then it makes sense in that position to select the Liverpool player.
And the same can apply to every player in the FA WSL/ FA WC list that can be compared to a U-21 player. For example, Georgia Stanway v Katie Zelem or Carla Humphrey in the number 10 role.
The players studying in the USA and playing in the NCAA (5)
Karin Muya ( 95) University of Notre Dame
Lucy Whipp ( 95) St John’s
Maisie Baker (96) University of Miami Hurricanes
Jemma Purfield (97) Arizona Sun Devils
Atlanta Primus (97) Cal State Fullerton
Jemma Purfield was called up for the U-23 team and is an option either at left-back or as a left-winger. She is now a senior at University and you would expect her to go to the NWSL draft and maybe be drafted. And from there a potential senior call-up. The transition to the senior side for a player with a potential like her would have been facilitated by the U-23 team.
The players who play below the top two tiers in England (6)
Ellie Stewart (96) Sunderland FA WNL North
Natasha Flint ( 96) Blackburn Rovers FA WNL North
Caitlin Leach (96)
Tyler Dodds (96) Middlesborough FA WNL North
Sophie Stamp (97) Leeds
Emma Kelly (97) Middlesborough FA WNL North
There was a call-up for one of those player at U-23 level and is clearly a loss for her as there is no real chance the England senior staff to be watching third tier football as they have already many games to scout in the top tier and sometimes in the second tier.
It is obvious that the 95-97 generation players that are not called up to the Seniors are not world beater, but there was certainly a potential development for five or six of them towards the senior team. Again the U-21 squad selected by Mo Marley is really strong and you would expect a good number of them to transition to the seniors like Roebuck and Stanway have already done.
It is up to those girls who will miss out on England to improve their game quickly and show Phil Neville they are up for it. Probably not for the World Cup as the squad seems very settled and the opportunity seems gone, but more likely for the Euros 2021.