England will take on the Czech Republic at Walsall FC on 26 May in their final match before Euro 2005.
England v Czech Republic
International Women's Friendly
Walsall FC, Bescot Stadium
Thursday 26 May 2005
International football is returning to Walsall FC’s Bescot Stadium when England’s women round off their preparations for Women's Euro 2005 with a tough match against the Czech Republic on Thursday 26 May 2005 (kick off 7.45pm).
The match, in partnership with Nationwide, will be England’s final game before Hope Powell’s team kick off the 2005 UEFA European Women’s Championship with a Group A clash against Finland at the City of Manchester Stadium on 5 June 2005.
The Czech Republic, who narrowly missed out on qualifying for Women's Euro 2005 finishing as runners-up to Germany in their group before losing to Italy in the play off round, will be tough opposition for an England team hoping to make it three wins in row ahead of the tournament.
England go into the game against the Czech Republic on the back of last week’s 2-1 win against Scotland and a strong performance in the Algarve Cup which took place in March. England also face another team hoping to lift the Women's Euro 2005 trophy, Norway, when they meet at Barnsley FC on 6th May.
Walsall’s Bescot Stadium is no stranger to international football having recently hosted England in an U17s match against the Republic of Ireland over the Easter weekend, a game England won 3-1.
England National Coach Hope Powell OBE said: "This is a crucial game for the team as it’s our last chance to play 90 minutes together before Women's Euro 2005 begins.
"It was good to get a victory against Scotland last week and hopefully we can build on that performance and go into the games against Norway at Barnsley and the Czech Republic at Walsall full of confidence.
"We’re into the final stage of our preparations for the tournament and everyone involved in the England women’s team has been working very hard for the last year to ensure we are in the best possible shape ahead of the big kick off."
England star Rachel Unitt, who hails from the Midlands, commented: "It is great to be playing an England game in the Midlands. This is a massive game for the team and we’ll be looking for a good performance to take into the tournament.
"I hope that fans from across the Midlands will come and support the England team, a big crowd makes a big difference to the team and they can really give you a boost."
Former England International and Walsall’s current player-manager, Paul Merson, added: "It is a massive honour to play for your Country, I was capped 23 times by England and it is something I am immensely proud of.
"For these players to be recognised as the best 20 in England is a major achievement. I wish them the best of luck for Women's Euro 2005 and hope that their final warm-up game here at Bescot helps their preparations."
Tickets for the match are on sale now from the Walsall ticket office or by calling the ticket hotline on 0870 442 0111.
Tickets are priced at £3 for adults / £1 concessions in advance and £5/£2 on match day.
There are special discounts available for schools and football clubs, on application by completing a group booking form. Booking forms can be downloaded below or from
Book your tickets now for the 2005 UEFA European Women's Championship now. England are one of eight nations competing from June 5-19 at venues across the North West of England. Priced at £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions, with a discount group rate available, tickets are on sale from: Ewood Park, Blackburn: 08701 123 456; Bloomfield Road, Blackpool: 0870 443 1953; City of Manchester Stadium: 0870 062 1894 (option 1); Deepdale, Preston: 0870 442 1966; Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington: 01925 248888.