SARINA WIEGMAN is not prepared to push Beth Mead and risk a reinjury after leaving her out of England’s World Cup squad. The Arsenal star is among the high profile absentees from the 23-strong group named today before the tournament’s start in July.
England will be without the services of Beth Mead with the forward to continuing her return to full fitness following her ACL injury last yearCredit: PA
Bethany England’s clinical goalscoring for Tottenham led to her recallCredit: PA
Wiegman says Lucy Bronze and Millie Bright have an important role to play in England’s bid to win the Women’s World Cup this summerCredit: Getty
Euros Golden Boot winner Mead is continuing her recovery from a knee ligament rupture she suffered last November.
While the forward had hoped to make the contest, which is being held in Australia and New Zealand, she admitted a return could be too soon.
Wiegman, 53 said: “Beth is so positive and she’s doing really well.
“But we said with the time schedule she had. She would have taken too many risks to try and get to the World Cup.
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“I’m not willing to take that risk to push her too much and then she gets injured again because we also have to take care of players and do what is smart not do what’s a little bit naive.”
Skipper Leah Williamson and playmaker Fran Kirby are currently sidelined by long-term injuries.
The duo were ruled out for World Cup duty with Williamson sustaining an ACL injury and Kirby contending a knee issue.
Wiegman added: “For Leah it’s very disappointing and very sad, but that’s the same for Fran and Beth, but you have to move on too.
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“This is unfortunately also a part of top sport that you can get injured.
“It’s a physical game and you hope to make that part as small as possible.
Wiegman named Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze with the head coach keen to have their experience in her squad following injuries to three of her senior stars.
Bright, who will captain the Lionesses, and Bronze were both included in the group, following their recent recoveries from knee surgical procedures.
The Lionesses chief added: “Lucy is fit, she’s fully in training. She’s getting ready for the (Champions League) final this Saturday.
“Millie is in a good place, she’s positive and she’s still building.
“But we have some time and so she’ll she’ll be with us too, but we need to build a little more, but it looks good
“Of course you want them in because they have an important role for the team and they have impact.
“But you never know what happens in football so we think of the squad now, who do we have, what positions can the players play and what’s the next step so we always prepare it with them and without them.”
Bethany England has earned a recall following her ruthless form for Tottenham helping the team win their battle to avoid relegation.
Following her January move from Chelsea, the striker netted 12 goals in 12 WSL games for the club who finished ninth in the top-flight.
Wiegman said: “She made a move and started playing in a hard situation at Tottenham.
“But how she did and how she performed and the resilience showed, that made us make that decision.”
WSL player of the season Rachel Daly has been added as one of England’s six forwards with Chelsea’s Lauren James and Brighton’s Katie Robinson.
Rachel Daly has been included Wiegman’s as one of England’s forwards after finishing as top scorer in the WSL this seasonCredit: Getty
The duo will feature in their first major tournament as will Esme Morgan, Laura Coombs, Katie Zelem and Niamh Charles who were also called up .
Veteran England midfielder Jordan Nobbs also made Wiegman’s cut after impressing for Aston Villa this term.
However former England captain Steph Houghton was left out along with Man United striker Nikita Parris.
And Red Devils ace Maya Le Tissier has been placed on the Lionesses’ standby list along with forward Jess Park and goalkeeper Emily Ramsey.
Wiegman said: “Maya was really close. That was a hard call.
“We also see her a little bit more as a right full back and she plays for her club as centre back
“She’s had a very good season for Manchester United. But this is the choice we made.”
With England’s squad containing two non-white players, Wiegman was asked about the issue of diversity within the senior side.
The head coach acknowledged the situation is unlikely to change overnight.
But she believes having equal access to football in schools could help.
Wiegman hopes equal access to football in schools can help produce more players from different backgrounds for EnglandCredit: Getty
Lauren James is among six Lionesses who will be playing in their first major international tournamentCredit: Getty
The England boss said: “I understand that people look at it like that. I really hope that will change, but it won’t change overnight.
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“I know the FA is doing a lot of things with to get everyone who wants to play football, whatever background you have, that you can have access to it.
“What our squad did after the Euros (raising awareness with equal access campaigns) hopefully that will bring more girls of different backgrounds into the game so in the future we have more players from different backgrounds in the national team too. ”
England squad for the Women’s World Cup Goalkeepers:
Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City).
Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal).
Laura Coombs (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona) Katie Zelem (Manchester united).
Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion).
Players on standby:
Emily Ramsey (Everton), Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United) and Jessica Park (Manchester City). More