Sandy MacIver is targeting an England debut as Lionesses return to action

Thursday 18 Feb 2021
Sandy MacIver has been a regular in the England squad over the last year, but is still waiting for her debut

Goalkeeper Sandy Maclver is hopeful that she can make her senior England debut under interim coach Hege Riise in the upcoming game against Northern Ireland.

The Everton stopper is one of four uncapped players picked in the Norwegian's 20-player squad ahead of the Lionesses’ first competitive fixture since March last year.

Maclver, who won a bronze medal in the 2018 U20 World Cup in France and was awarded the Golden Glove as the tournament's best goalkeeper, received her first senior England call-up in August 2019 but is yet to make an appearance.

“It's a huge honour anytime you go away with the national team and I'm really excited to join up with everyone,” she said.

“There’s a real excitement [in camp]. Unfortunately, we had games postponed and cancelled at the end of last year but the number of in-house games we've had have been so competitive.

“I think being able to come off the last few camps and going into a match-camp means that the excitement from everyone [to play] is really high.”

With the prospect of earning her first senior cap against Northern Ireland on Tuesday, the 22 year old added: “It would be great. Playing for your country at senior level is the pinnacle of football but that's something out of my control.

“I haven’t spoken to her [Riise] personally but I think the fact that the number one shirt is up for grabs is just extra motivation in itself.

“But having said that, there's three good goalkeepers in this camp so it is not going to be a given to anyone and the priority for me heading into camp is to just train well really.”

Selected alongside Maclver is Manchester City keeper Elle Roebuck and Birmingham City number one Hannah Hampton. The trio share five first-team caps between them - all received by Roebuck.

“The group of keepers that we've got going to camp just shows how strong the group is - especially with how young we are,” she added.

“I am the oldest at 22, which is pretty ironic. The competition amongst Hannah, Ellie and myself means it is going to be a really good camp to be a part of.

“They've both had different experiences to me and together we will be able to support and push each other on.

“At the end of the day, whoever plays in any game is always going to have the support of the other two.”

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By Toby Noakes University of Derby football journalism student