Women's Senior
Women's Senior

Karen Bardsley on how England's World Cup goalkeepers will work together in France

Karen Bardsley talks about the tight-knit goalkeeper union and provides an insight into how the three keepers work together on camp

Tuesday 04 Jun 2019
The GK union: (l-r) Carly Telford, Karen Bardsley, Ellie Roebuck and Mary Earps

There’s always a lot of excitement in the build-up to a World Cup.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in two previous World Cups so I know what it’s like in terms of the hype and it’s fun to know that it’s so close.

Group D schedule
  • v Scotland, Sun 9 Jun
  • v Argentina, Fri 14 Jun
  • v Japan, Weds 19 Jun
There’s always an enthusiasm when you meet up as a squad, particularly building up to a World Cup and I can’t wait to get to France.

We’re lucky to have three very good goalkeepers in this squad.

There’s a lot of energy, a lot of intelligence and a lot of talent in the group. We have a good time with each other and that is really important because ours is a very unique position.

Obviously only one of us can play so one of us will be happy and the other two will be disappointed. That’s just human nature I guess.


But whoever gets the nod in France will know they’ve got the support of the other two because the team must always come first. We want to win the World Cup so we’ll make sure we are the best version of ourselves in order to help the team. It’s the same with any group of goalkeepers in any squad.

I think Carly Telford sets the standard for how to behave as a goalkeeper.

She has experienced both sides of the coin. She has been the No1, she has been on the bench and she has been part of a World Cup squad and never played a minute – and she was absolutely amazing in that situation, completely selfless for the good of the team.

In terms of our day-to-day work on camp, we have regular ‘unit meetings’ as a group, the same as the defenders, midfielders and forwards do.

It depends what the situation is but generally speaking we’ll discuss our roles and responsibilities, what we can expect from the opposition, the game plan and also what we’d need to do if (a), (b) or (c) happens.

England rookie Ellie Roebuck (right) will train with Phil Neville's squad at France 2019

We talk about how we can affect the game and what our influence on the game is going to be.

It goes without saying that we relay all that back to the outfield players, as they do to us, to make sure we’re all on the same page going into a game.

Carly, Mary and I get on really well and it’s a fun group to be a part of.

I think we each bring something different and we complement each other really well. We work hard and we enjoy each other’s company. It’s pretty natural and it’s driven by us which is so important.

I actually think there’s a bit of jealously from the other girls because they all want to be part of the goalkeeper union!

The FA has a small allocation of tickets for each of England’s World Cup group matches. Call 0800 389 1966 to get yours today. Tickets are subject to availability and are non-refundable or transferable.

By Karen Bardsley England Women's goalkeeper