Beth Mead is not included because of injury; Chloe Kelly comes in
Last Updated: 21/02/20 12:27pm
West Ham defender Grace Fisk has received her first senior England Women call-up, while the injured Beth Mead is replaced by Chloe Kelly.
Fisk joined West Ham in December from the University of South Carolina and will form part of a youthful 23-player squad for England’s defence of the SheBelieves Cup in America next month.
The 22-year-old has made 30 appearances for England at youth level and captained the bronze-medal winning 2018 FIFA U20 World Cup squad, with five other members included in Neville’s squad.
Arsenal forward Mead was injured and forced off during her club’s 3-2 win over Liverpool on Thursday.
Kelly is Everton’s top goalscorer this season and made her senior debut against Austria in a friendly last November, with team-mate Sandy MacIver also part of the group.
Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps also misses out as Neville turns his focus to youth ahead of Euro 2021 next year.
“Until you give young players a chance, you don’t know if they can step up and that’s what we are going to do in She Believes,” he said.
“We want to give these young players an opportunity, sometimes young people can surprise you with what they can do.”
The Lionesses, who won the tournament for the first time last year, will face Women’s World Cup winners USA, Japan and Spain in the four-team round-robin tournament from Match 5-11.
In-form Chelsea striker Bethany England is included in the squad, with Jodie Taylor not included having been a member of the World Cup group.
England has scored 18 goals in 20 club appearances this season and trails only Arsenal and Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema in the Women’s Super League.
Neville said: “I think with Beth England, she was really unlucky before the World Cup and I said to her when we brought her into the squad that she would be getting opportunities after Christmas.
“She’s playing in a team full of confidence and every time I see her play, she’s added a little bit to the game.
“Without doubt she, along with Ellen White, are the best two centre-forwards in England on form and she deserves her place in the squad.”
Birmingham City’s young goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and US-based striker Alessia Russo, who plays for North Carolina Tar Heels, will also join the squad for training sessions in America.
England squad: Mille Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Toni Duggan (Atletico Madrid), Bethany England (Chelsea), Grace Fisk (West Ham), Alex Greenwood (Lyon), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Chloe Kelly (Everton), Sandy MacIver (Everton), Abbie McManus (Manchester United), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Lyon), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Carly Telford (Chelsea), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Ellen White (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal)
Young players getting their chance
Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Jess Creighton…
This seems to be a changing of the guard.
That is particularly noticeable in attack, where there is no space for 33-year-old Jodie Taylor while Chloe Kelly, 11 years her junior, earns another call-up.
The inclusion of in-form Chelsea striker Beth England, for her debut She Believes tournament, and teenager Lauren Hemp further suggests Neville is looking to the future.
Despite England missing World Cup selection last summer, she has since capitalised on opportunities afforded to her playing a part in five of England’s six matches since and scoring two goals.
She’s the leading English goalscorer in the Women’s Super League, netting 13 goals in 14 appearances so far this season, which led to her Chelsea manager Emma Hayes hailing her as the nation’s top striker.
At 25 she still has time to develop and improve and, if all goes to plan, I’d imagine her becoming an important part of England and Team GB’s plans over the next couple of years.