The 23 England players who will travel to the Netherlands this summer for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 finals were revealed today [Monday 3 April, 2017].
The Lionesses squad was named by head coach Mark Sampson at St. George’s Park, The FA’s national football centre in Staffordshire.
Four players will take part in their first major senior tournament – Millie Bright, Isobel Christiansen, Nikita Parris and Demi Stokes.
In the other 19 spots, Sampson has kept faith with the majority of the squad that won a historic bronze medal at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
There are returns for Chelsea striker Fran Kirby, who scored England’s first goal in the 2015 World Cup, and Liverpool defender Alex Greenwood following long-term injuries.
It will be the fourth Euros for England’s record cap-holder Fara Williams (160) along with centurions Alex Scott, Casey Stoney and Karen Carney.
England kick-off their Group D campaign against Scotland in Utrecht on 19 July 2017, before facing Spain in Breda on 23 July and Portugal in Tilburg on 27 July.
The Lionesses play their last two home games before the Euros over the next seven days. They will play host to Italy at Port Vale’s Vale Park on Friday 7 April 2017 (7.45pm KO) and Austria at MK Dons’ Stadium MK on Monday 10 April (7.45pm KO).
Sampson said: “I’d like to congratulate every player we have selected for the Euros. They all thoroughly deserve their place in this squad.
“We considered a lot of factors and reflected on all of our experiences since the World Cup and we are confident this is the right group that can win the Euros for us in the summer.
“Our talent pool has grown over the past two years, so we’re also looking for other key areas. We want players who are physically robust and capable of handling an intense tournament schedule. We also need our squad to be mentally resilient and be able to perform and win under pressure.
“I’m also looking for players who are good team-mates and bring the best out of each other. We pride ourselves on our togetherness. In the past two years we have built a real group spirit and that will be a big focus for us leading into the tournament.”
England captain Steph Houghton said: “I’m really excited to be involved in another Euros and to be able to lead this group of players into a second tournament.
“We have a really good group of players on and off the pitch and there’s so much we can achieve this summer.
“Having the next three months allows us to work together as a 23 and make sure every day counts. The plans we have are really solid. We have a strong togetherness in this group and that will only grow as we get closer to the tournament.
“It’s exciting for us to be one of the favourites. It brings a different type of pressure but hopefully one we can thrive on in a very tough tournament.
“As a team we also want to go to the Netherlands and be successful to help push the game at home on even more and inspire as many girls as possible to play football.”
The announcement follows The FA’s launch of Gameplan for Growth, a drive to double participation and the fanbase in the women’s game.
Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), Carly Telford (Notts County)
Defenders: Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Alex Greenwood (Liverpool), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Jo Potter (Notts County), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Casey Stoney (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Jade Moore (Notts County), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Arsenal)
Forwards: Karen Carney (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Nikita Parris (Manchester City), Jodie Taylor (Arsenal), Ellen White (Birmingham City)