England squad named for FIFA Women's U17 World Cup

Monday 12 Sep 2016
This is the first England side to qualify for the FIFA Women's U17 World Cup

John Griffiths has named his England squad for the FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup.

Eighteen of the 21-strong squad featured for the Young Lionesses in the Euro finals in May, and their third-place finish in Belarus sealed their spot at next month’s showpiece event.

Reading’s Georgia Valentine, Yeovil Town’s Jessie Jones and Birmingham City’s Connie Scofield complete the line-up.

Group C schedule

v North Korea, Saturday 1 October
v Nigeria, Tuesday 4 October
v Brazil, Saturday 8 October

The World Cup will take place in Jordan between 30 September and 21 October.

England have been drawn in Group C alongside Brazil, Nigeria and North Korea.

This is the first-ever England Women’s U17s side to qualify for the World Cup. The squad that competed in 2008 were invited to the tournament – and reached the semi-finals.

Griffiths said: “We had a good three-week training camp in York recently and preparations have gone really well.

“It was nice to have so much time with the players to make sure they are as ready physically and mentally for the challenge they are about to embark on.

“This is our first World Cup at this level in eight years and the game has changed a lot since then, so we have prepared as fully as we possibly can.”

He continued: “If you look ahead to the senior squad who will hopefully get to the World Cup in 2023, a number of these girls could be involved so it’s important at this formative stage that they get 15-20 caps at 17 years of age.

“And the more opponents we can put in front of them, in terms of European and non-European teams, and styles of play, the better.

“It’s all about giving them as much experience as possible in the younger age groups right up to the seniors.”

Grace Smith (left) and Anna Patten

England will open up against North Korea on Saturday 1 October, followed by Nigeria on Tuesday 4 October and Brazil four days later.

Griffiths’s charges have been in scintillating form over the last year.

They racked up two 13-0 wins in Euro qualifying, against Croatia and Estonia, while their 12-0 defeat of Belarus in May was a record win in a UEFA Finals tournament, at any level.

Chelsea forward Alessia Russo finished the finals as joint top scorer with five goals, while Niamh Charles (four), Hannah Cain, Ellie Brazil and Anna Filbey (all three) were also among the top eight goalscorers in Belarus.

Charles topped the assists chart with six, while Cain and Russo chipped in with three each.

Griffiths added: “We are all really excited, staff and players alike. The staff have put in an incredible amount of work to prepare the players for Jordan.

“The key was getting there. Now we’re there, and fully prepared, we have to make sure we enjoy the experience.

“We want to go as far as we possibly can.”

The squad

Goalkeepers: Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Katie Startup (Chelsea), Georgia Valentine (Reading)

Defenders: Flo Allen (Bristol City), Taylor Hinds (Arsenal), Lois Joel (Chelsea), Anna Patten (Arsenal), Kelsey Pearson (Blackburn Rovers), Grace Smith (Aston Villa), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Anna Filbey (Arsenal), Laura Hooper (Arsenal), Jessie Jones (Yeovil Town), Hollie Olding (Chelsea), Connie Scofield (Birmingham City)
Forwards: Ellie Brazil (Birmingham City), Hannah Cain (Sheffield FC), Niamh Charles (Liverpool), Alessia Russo (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester City)

By FA Staff