Left-back Alex Greenwood said England had ‘had a reset’ after nearly a year since their last international game, as they braced for a new era starting with Tuesday’s friendly against England. North Ireland.
The game at St George’s Park will be England’s first under interim head coach Hege Riise and up to six uncapped players could make their senior debuts, Riise selecting a young and relatively inexperienced squad with an eye on the ‘to come up.
Preparations are focused on this summer’s Olympics, with England players expected to make up the vast majority of GB squad’s 18-man squad in Tokyo. England then played host to Euro 2022, followed by major tournaments in each of the following three summers as well: World Cup 2023, Olympics 2024 and Euro 2025.
As well as having a refreshed squad and a new head coach, England will also have a temporary new captain, Steph Houghton having gladly offered to pass the armband to midfielder Jill Scott to skipper the side for the occasion of his 150th selection.
Houghton, Scott and Manchester City forward Ellen White are the only members of the squad over 30, and it is the young players who could be the center of attention on Tuesday.
“I watch the youngsters now and in the WSL and the girls in the camp and it’s such an exciting time and an exciting future for England. There is incredible talent, ”said Greenwood.
“People like me and others have a duty to make them understand what lies ahead. It’s not always easy to navigate an England shirt. Getting ready for a Euro, the Olympics and a World Cup in three years, it’s not going to be easy. The pressure of wanting to win a medal in all of them is something we should embrace and appreciate.
“It feels like a reset, a restart, which is perfect. It’s a good time. If you’re not getting excited about the next few summers, you shouldn’t be playing football. The Olympic Games, one Euro in our country of origin, then a World Cup which represents three consecutive years of tournaments in which you train all your life. “
England will face an injured Northern Ireland side who are preparing for a play-off for Euro 2022 in April, as they attempt to reach their first major tournament.
With his squad ranked 49th in the world, Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels joked that some of his squad might want autographs from England players as he downplayed his side’s chances of causing an upheaval. , but stressed the importance of “learning” from the test. against England, sixth in the Fifa rankings.
Norwegian legend Riise, who won the World Cup as a player of the tournament in 1995, said she was “overwhelmed” by the reception in England, adding: “To have such a good group, this competitive group, I love. the way this camp has been for us.
“We have already planned submarines due to [managing] playing time and for us to get to know the young players in the games too. I saw character in all the young players coming in, and the others were so supportive, so it was a great camp.
England (4-2-3-1): Roebuck; Bronze, Houghton, Williamson, Greenwood; Scott, Walsh; Kelly, Nobbs, hemp; White.
Northern Ireland (4-2-3-1): Flaherty; Hutton, Nelson, McCarron, Holloway; Callaghan, Caldwell; Wade, Furness, Wilson; Magill.