#Lionesses: Wiegman selects her first squad for World Cup qualifiers

England head coach, Sarina Wiegman
Photo: Vincent Jannink/ANP via Imago

England’s new head coach Sarina Wiegman has named a 25-player squad for the Lionesses’ 2023 World Cup qualifying campaign which kicks-off in September.

Wiegman’s England are targeting qualification for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in just less than two years.

England face Group D opponents North Macedonia at Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium on 17 September [kick-off: 7:00pm BST], before travelling to Luxembourg for their second group game at State de Luxembourg on 21 September [kick-off: 6:15pm BST].

Wiegman began her new role at St George’s Park on 1 September, having guided Netherlands to the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games football tournament earlier this summer.

Wiegman has called up 16 members of Team GB’s football squad who also reached the quarter-final stage at the Tokyo Games.

In a nod to England’s exciting future, youngsters Jessica Carter, Niamh Charles, Lauren Hemp, Sandy McIver, Esme Morgan, Ebony Salmon, Ella Toone, and Lotte Wuben-Moy have all secured their place in Wiegman’s squad.

Manchester City’s Esme Morgan and Manchester United’s Katie Zelem have their sights set on gaining their first caps but have been involved in senior training camps over the last year.

Manchester City trio Lucy Bronze, Keira Walsh and Ellie Roebuck miss out on selection due to injury. Meanwhile experienced internationals Mary Earps and Lucy Staniforth make their return to the squad after being absent from recent international camps.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “I’m extremely excited to get started. After leading Netherlands in the Olympic Games it has been a quick turnaround to get ready for this important camp with England and the start of our 2023 World Cup qualifying campaign.

“Our coaching team and scouts have done a tremendous job in ensuring me and Arjan Veurink, my assistant coach who joins me from the Netherlands, are fully prepared.

“Whilst we have a few injuries to key players to contend with, we have such a strong squad and I’m excited by the young talent we have called up for this camp.

“Of course, we have two challenging matches this month as we start our qualification for the World Cup in 2023, but we also have a strong focus on next summer’s home UEFA Women’s EURO. I can’t wait to see what we can all do together to bring success to England.

“It will be emotional to finally welcome fans back to the stadium for our home game against North Macedonia. They have had a long wait due to Covid-19 and the restrictions that has brought, but they are such an important part of our journey over the next few years and I hope to see a big crowd at St. Mary’s Stadium next Friday.”

The Lionesses meet up on the south coast on Monday to begin preparations for their FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying match against North Macedonia at St. Mary’s Stadium.

The game will be the first opportunity in just under two years for England fans to watch the Lionesses on home soil; the last time was at Wembley Stadium against Germany in November 2019.

Tickets for the match against North Macedonia at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton on Friday 17 September [kick off: 7:00pm BST] are priced at £15 for adults and £2.50 for children. Concessions and group discounts are also available at TheFA.com/tickets.

Next month, fans will also have the opportunity to be a part of history as England Women play their first ever competitive fixture at Wembley against Group D contenders, Northern Ireland. The match kicks off at 5:15pm BST on Saturday 23 October and tickets are priced from £20 for adults and £2.50 for children.

England Women’s squad

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Sandy MacIver (Everton), Carly Telford (Chelsea)

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Jessica Carter (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jill Scott (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Manchester United), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

Forwards: Bethany England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Arsenal), Ebony Salmon (Racing Louisville), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Ellen White (Manchester City).

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