England prepare for Peace Cup bow
by Glenn Lavery
Monday, 18 October, 2010
World Cup preparations heat up for Hope Powell's side in South Korea.
Hope Powell has taken her England Women’s team to Korea to compete in the Peace Cup, their first serious piece of preparation for next summer’s World Cup Finals.
England clinched World Cup qualification by beating Switzerland in a two-legged play-off last month and, mirroring their preparations for the 2007 Finals - when they took on USA, Germany and China, in China - Powell now wants her side to experience playing against non-European opposition to become a more well-rounded outfit.
“We are playing against teams from the Asian continent which will be new to us and I’m hoping it will hold us in good stead for the World Cup,” she said.
“We are very attuned to the European style of play, I just think we need to stretch ourselves and develop further. We have to have an appreciation of the entire footballing world and this trip is a great opportunity for us to do that.”
England take on the host nation, South Korea, on Tuesday, before facing New Zealand on Thursday, and those two results will determine who the Three Lions play in the final Peace Cup match on Saturday - either Taiwan, Australia or Mexico. These three matches will give Powell the opportunity to assess her squad in an unfamiliar, competitive environment.
"It would be lovely to win the tournament and we'll try to do that,” said the Head Coach. “But the most important thing will be to start forming the crux of the team for the World Cup."