Demi Stokes: 'We must keep challenging the best teams'

Friday 27 Feb 2015
England defender Demi Stokes
Demi Stokes says England need to keep challenging themselves against the best in order to prepare them for this summer’s FIFA Women's World Cup.

The Manchester City defender is preparing to take part in the annual Cyprus Cup, where the Lionesses take on Finland (on 4 March), Australia (6 March) and the Netherlands (9 March).

Mark Sampson’s side will then play one final game, on Wednesday 11 March, against one of the teams from Group A.

England v China

A Women's International
7.30pm, Thursday 9 April
Academy Stadium, Manchester
Tickets priced £5 adults, £2.50 children
Buy via

In addition to the action over the next fortnight, The FA has announced that England will face China at Manchester City’s new Academy Stadium on Thursday 9 April (7.30pm KO), a fixture that means they will have taken on nine of the top 13 teams in the world over the past 18 months.

“With the World Cup coming up, you want to play against the best, and that’s what we’ll face in China,” Stokes exclusively told at the Together for England Roadshow last week.

“And where better to do it than at the new training centre in Manchester. It’s a first-class facility for us to get another game in and help us prepare properly for the World Cup.”

Stokes, who moved to Manchester from South Florida Bulls in January, featured for Sampson’s side in the 1-0 defeat by USA earlier this month.

Despite the setback, Stokes says her and her team-mates need to continue to give everything as they hope to secure a spot in the World Cup squad.

“We were disappointed with the result, but we are continuing to make progress and moving in the right direction,” she added.

“We have to keep pushing forward and hopefully we will be ready for the summer.

“It’s about getting your head down and working hard, so hopefully I’ll get that chance.

“It’s an honour to know that I’m even just in contention for the squad.”

Tickets for England v China are available via or in person at the Manchester City box office at Etihad Stadium.

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer