Brent Hills urges his U23s to use Germany game to their advantage.
England Women's U23s v Germany Women's U23s
12noon, Thursday 30 September 2010
Holmes Park, Leicester - Leicestershire & Rutland FA HQ
Click here for fixtures
The England Women’s U23 team face Germany in Leicester on Thursday, and with the 2011 Women’s World Cup now on the horizon, Head Coach Brent Hills has called upon his players to use this game to enhance their prospects of a place in Hope Powell’s senior squad.
“There’s a mixture here in terms of age and experience,” Hills said of his squad. “Some are here purely for the experience because maybe their best days are ahead of them, while others have been in, or on the fringe of, the senior team and they might be looking at this week’s opportunity in a different light than to the younger ones.
“All the players will take something from this game but it’s a chance for everyone to impress in some capacity and show me what they can do at U23 level."
Two weeks ago, England beat Switzerland 3-2 in Wohlen (and 5-2 on aggregate) to qualify for the World Cup and five of Hills’ U23s were part of that senior set-up. It is the fourth consecutive major tournament they have qualified for and Hills believes it is the beginning of an exciting era for the women’s game in this country.
“It’s a great time to be an England Women’s international,” he declared. “There are three big tournaments coming up in the next three years; the World Cup, the Olympics and the European Championship, so if you want to be an England senior international, now is the time to give it all you’ve got.
“Historically, the U23 players that have shown mental strength and the correct attitude - and want to develop and compete for places - they’re the ones that have gone on to represent the senior team and this group’s hunger is no different to any other group we’ve had in the past.”
Germany are the current World and European champions at senior level and their U19s have won the European title three times in the last nine years. They are thought of by many to be the leading nation in women’s football, certainly over the last decade.
“That’s why we are always happy to play them,” admitted Hills, who will cut his 26-player squad down to 18 on matchday.
“If you keep playing against strong opposition you get the chance to learn from them. In the end, if our long-term aim, for all our teams, is to reach the later stages of tournaments then, for the foreseeable future, you’re going to come up against a German side so you might as well get used to playing them.
“But we won’t just be there to watch them play; we will be trying to win the game, as we always do. If we don’t, we don’t, but we will also be looking for our players to put in some decent performances.”
Spectators are welcome to attend Thursday's match. There will be no tickets issued, simply turn up and enjoy the action.The Squad
Rebecca Spencer, Marie Hourihan, Helen Alderson (replaced Lauren Davey), Carly Telford.Defenders:
Stephanie Houghton, Gilly Flaherty, Kerys Harrop, Claire Rafferty, Dunia Susi, Chelsea Weston, Lucy Bronze, Fern Whelan, Gemma Bonner, Sophie Bradley, Lyndsey Cunningham.Midfielders
: Danielle Buet, Brooke Chaplen, Michelle Hinnigan, Rachel Williams, Ashlee Hincks (replaced Jade Moore).Forwards:
Isobel Christiansen, Toni Duggan, Natasha Dowie, Precious Hamilton, Kate Longhurst, Demi Stokes.