England Women’s and WU23 teams heading to Spain

2023 FIFA Womens World Cup - England Training Session - Sunshine Coast Stadium
James Whitehead / SPP

England’s opening fixtures of 2024 will be during a warm-weather training camp with matches at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador in Algeciras.

With UEFA EURO 2025 qualifying to start in April, the year will begin against Austria on Friday 23 February (7.45pm GMT), broadcast live on ITV1 from 7.30pm. The meeting with Italy will take place on Tuesday 27 February (5pm GMT), broadcast live on ITV4 with coverage starting at 4.30pm.

Sarina Wiegman’s senior squad will be joined by Emma Coates’ WU23s group. The Young Lionesses’ camp will see them play two fixtures, against Spain on Thursday 22 February (11am GMT) at the Marbella Football Centre before taking on the Netherlands on Monday 26 February (12pm GMT) at the Banus Football Centre. The WU23s enjoyed an unbeaten 2023, finishing the year with a 1-1 draw with Spain in December.

Sarina Wiegman told englandfootball.com: “This will be our kick-off to get ready for the EURO qualifying campaign beginning in April, so there’s no time to waste in February. Heading to Spain with hopefully warmer weather and great facilities will allow us to maximise every minute together. Playing two games against good opposition in Austria and Italy, should be excellent preparation for another big year ahead.

“They’re two good and different opponents who will want to start the year strong too, so it will be important to come together again as a team and use these games to prepare for the qualification matches starting in April.

“We’re very proud of our pathway and how our development teams are progressing and I’m really pleased that Emma’s WU23’s squad can travel with us to Spain. It’s not something I have had the opportunity to do during my time here with England and it will bring many opportunities to collaborate together.”

Emma Coates added: “The ultimate goal of the England pathway is to develop a crop of players who are ready-made for the senior team. We have a really exciting group of young players coming through our system and this camp will be an incredible experience for our WU23s to get a feel for what the senior environment is like to prepare them for the future.

“Having a camp like this reflects how closely we work with Sarina and her coaching staff. We regularly meet to discuss how our players are developing and who may be ready to make the move across, with the aim of more Young Lionesses becoming senior Lionesses in 2024.”

Tickets for the senior fixtures will go on sale this week, with more information on how to purchase via the Lionesses channels.

England sealed qualification for the 2023 FIFA World Cup with their 2-0 away win over Austria when the two teams last met in September 2023. They last played the Italians in February 2023, with a 2-1 victory in Coventry putting them on their way to more Arnold Clark Cup silverware.

The Lionesses will have more clarity on their 2024 schedule following the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 qualifying draw on Tuesday 5 March. The qualification phase will decide the 15 teams, alongside the hosts, who will travel to Switzerland to take part in the tournament.

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