With the men’s football season over, it’s time to circle the June 7th in your diaries. As the Women’s World Cup kicks off in France when the hosts take on South Korea at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Two days later on the June 9th, Phil Neville’s courageous Lionesses take on Scotland in Nice, followed by Argentina (June 14, Le Havre), before facing Japan (June 19, Nice) as they bid to get out of Group D.
The Lionesses go into the tournament 4th favourites with the bookmakers, behind hosts France, USA and Germany. However, the Lionesses will still have fond memories of their terrific run in Canada four years ago, where they reached the semi-finals.
Now with the Lionesses squad consisting of Champions League and individual award winners, this time around there’s no reason why Phil Neville’s talented bunch can’t go all the way.
The Football Manc Cave take a look at the nine players of this talented squad, who represent the two Manchester clubs…
This will be the 3rd World Cup for the Manchester City goalkeeper, as she represented the Lionesses as England’s number one in the 2011 and 2015 World Cup.
Having won every domestic honour with Manchester City the 34-year-old was named in FIFA’s All-Star Team in 2015 after putting in two players of the match performances. Born in California, Bardsley has family connections in Stockport and chose to represent England saying she related more to her English side of her background.
The Manchester United left-back was the youngest member of the squad at World Cup 2015, this time Greenwood heads to her third major tournament on the back of a successful first season with newly formed Manchester United women.
The 25-year-old made the move across from Liverpool to Manchester United where she captained her side to the FA Championship title and earning promotion to the Women’s Super League. Greenwood is a natural leader with or without the armband, her attacking instinct and set-piece deliveries could be a huge asset to Neville and Co throughout the tournament.
Since her absence from the 2007 World Cup and 2009 Euros, where the Manchester City defender sustained injuries days before the tournaments.
Steph has now become an immovable force in the heart of the defence for both club and country. At the tender age of 31 and having 104 caps under her belt, Steph will captain England for the second time at her 3rd World Cup, having also played at two European Championships.
Having reached the centurion club of international caps, Steph helped and captained the Manchester City women team who lifted the FA Cup this season, can Steph lead the Lionesses to the World Cup trophy?
One of eight players in the squad with over 50 caps, Stokes makes Phil Neville’s 23 women squad for the first time since 2015, where she was overlooked by Mark Sampson.
Since signing for Manchester City in 2015, the full back, as with many of her Lionesses teammates, Stokes has won every domestic honour available to her, with Nick Cushing’s side. Having an FA cup winners medal for the 2018/2019 season, her team mates believe her to be the strongest member of the squad, not one to be messed with.
Having recently swapped the blue half of Manchester for the red half of Manchester, McManus made her England debut in 1st March 2018. Her route to the World Cup has been pretty difficult compared to that of her teammates.
Having not been involved in the younger national development groups like the majority of the Lionesses, McManus has worked her way up from the bottom.
Having been with Manchester City long before they turned professional in 2014, the now Manchester United defender caught the eye of Phil Neville, having put in a string of good performances early last year. Which earned her a place on the standby list for England’s 2018 SheBelievesCup. With two defenders withdrawing through injury, Abbie grabbed the opportunity with both hands and hasn’t looked back since.
With only 14 caps, not many players can say they’ve captained England at the age of 21. The Manchester City midfielder is seen in such high regard that Phil Neville handed Walsh the Captain’s armband in the 6-0 win over Kazakhstan back in September 2018, in only her 7th appearance for the senior team.
Kiera possesses incredible vision and a range of passing that can dictate a game, her assist for Beth Mead’s goal against Japan at the 2019 SheBelievesCup took eight opposition players out of the game, she is one of Neville’s greatest asset.
One of the Lionesses centurions, the 32-year-old has got plenty of experience at the international level. Scott is a big personality in the dressing room and has been pulling on the England shirt for 13 years.
Like many of her teammates, Scott has won every available domestic honour with Manchester City and, is a player for the big international occasions. She scored a semi-final winner at the 2009 Euros and, most recently scored in the 3-0 win over Wales to secure England’s place at this year’s tournament.
The youngest member of the squad, and with only six caps having made her senior England debut in November 2018, the Manchester City midfielder isn’t lacking in international experience.
The 20-year-old youngster helped England under 17’s reach the World Cup quarter-finals in 2016, and then went on to win bronze with the under ’20s in France two years later. She also captained the under 19’s to third place in the Euros.
The Manchester City midfielder made her full England debut against Austria back in November 2018 where she netted her first goal for the Lionesses at senior level. In 2013, Stanway queued for a photo with Steph Houghton at the FA cup final, six years later, they were teammates at City and lifting the FA Cup together at Wembley.
With Nikita Parris parting ways with Manchester City and joining Lyon, Ellen White has been brought in by Manchester City. The 30-year-old will be participating in her third World Cup, this prolific striker has endured a fantastic season having scored 21 goals in 26 league games for Birmingham this season, and as netted several important goals for her country in her nine-year international career so far.
White scored the last minute winner against the USA in 2017, and in doing so, inflicting the world champions to there first home defeat in 23 matches. White also scored a fantastic lobbed effort in the Lionesses win over eventual champions Japan back in 2011. With this dangerous striker in front of goal can the Lionesses go all the way and lift the World Cup?