Brent Hills will oversee England's challenge in the Nordic U21 Women's Cup in Sweden.
Just over a month since Euro 2005, Brent Hills will be back on the touchline as he oversees England's challenge in the Nordic U21 Women's Cup in Sweden.
England play in Group A of the U21 tournament along with Sweden, Norway and Finland, whilst Group B features Germany, USA, Iceland and Denmark.
Brent has been able to select five over-age players, with Charlton Athletic Captain Casey Stoney being in the unusual situation of hoping to gain her first cap at this age-level, despite already having thirty senior caps.
With a mix of youth and experience, Brent will be telling his players to use the tournament as a stepping stone to the senior squad, aspiring to make the same impact that the likes of Alex Scott, Lindsay Johnson and Eniola Aluko made at last year’s tournament in Iceland.
TheFA.com caught up with Brent shortly before the team flew to Sweden to find out a bit more about his eighteen-player squad.
Today he introduces readers of TheFA.com to his goalkeepers and defenders.
Karen Bardsley (California State University)
Karen made her debut for England against Sweden in July 2003, with her senior debut against Northern Ireland in the Algarve Cup in March 2005. She controls her area well and with authority. Confident in one-on-one situations, she is the tallest of England’s keepers and users her height to her advantage.
Siobhan Chamberlain (Birmingham City)
Siobhan has been in and around the senior squad now for a couple of years, making her debut against Holland in 2004. Based at Loughborough University she is physically imposing and a good shot-stopper.
Casey Stoney (Charlton Athletic)
She may still only be 23 but Casey already has plenty of winners’ medals, most recently lifting The FA Women’s Cup in May 2005 as Charlton beat Everton 1-0. Casey’s first and only goal for the senior squad came in the 4-0 victory over Portugal at the Algarve Cup in March 2005, a crisp half volley that marks her out as a danger attacking set pieces.
Alex Scott (Birmingham City)
Alex made her Senior debut in September 2004 after progressing through the England U19 and U21 ranks and is a powerful force on the right flank, strong in the tackle and has great stamina.
Laura Bassett (Birmingham City)
Laura was a star performer in central defence as the England U19 side reached the semi-finals of the UEFA European Championship and the quarter-finals of the inaugural FIFA U19 World Championship. She made her senior debut in the international against Italy in February 2003 as a substitute.
Jo Traynor (Liverpool)
Jo played in the U19 finals in 2003 in Leipzig when the team got to the semis and is a tall centre-half with lots of potential who needs experience of international level at a higher level.
Rachel Axon (Wimbledon)
Rachel is another player based at the National Player Development Centre at Loughborough University. Inexperienced at international level, she has worked very hard over the last twelve months to earn her call-up.
Beth Bailey (Birmingham City)
Beth makes the step-up to U21 level after being a mainstay of U17 and U19 squads over the last four years, either at left-back or centre-half.
Georgie Adams (Chelsea)
Georgie featured for the U19s in 2003 and has worked hard on her game. Part of Chelsea’s Southern Division winning squad last season, she will benefit from the challenges posed by being in the National Division this coming season.
Shelly Cox (Birmingham City)
Shelly has played for the U19s and U21s at left-back and is an elegant passer of the ball. Another based at Loughborough, she too has worked hard on her game over the last year, and her experience in the National Division has earned her a call-up.
Tomorrow Brent introduces you to his midfielders and forwards, ahead of England’s opening fixture against Finland at the Idrottsparken, in Grums tomorrow afternoon.