Beth Mead and Millie Turner called up for England’s fixture against Northern Ireland

Beth Mead and Millie Turner

In today’s Daily Digest, England call up new faces for their clash with Northern Ireland, Vivienne Miedema stars for the Netherlands and Naomi Osaka chases more Grand Slam glory.

Beth Mead and Millie Turner called up to England squad for Northern Ireland game

Arsenal forward Beth Mead and Manchester United defender Millie Turner have both been called up to the Lionesses squad for next Tuesday’s friendly against Northern Ireland.

Mead, who has eight international goals to her name, will replace the Women’s Super League player of the month Fran Kirby, who picked up a knock for Chelsea last weekend against Bristol City.

Kirby’s Chelsea teammate Millie Bright has also been withdrawn from the camp due to injury, so Turner receives her fourth senior call up, having impressed during the Autumn international camps.

Millie Turner

Speaking on the two new additions, England Women’s coach Hege Riise said: “Millie Turner and Beth Mead now have an excellent opportunity to impress me and my coaching team on this camp and we look forward to welcoming them here.

“Being resilient, adaptable and versatile is what we are all about and it is a privilege to be working with such a talented and ambitious group of players.”

Arsenal striker Vivienne Miedema stars for the Netherlands against Belgium

Vivienne Miedema struck her 14th goal for club and country this season, as the Netherlands beat Belgium 6-1 in the opening match of a three-nation friendly tournament which also features Germany.

The Netherlands were the better of the sides throughout the match, but took until just after the half-hour mark to break the deadlock, as Miedema converted to score her 71st international goal.

Miedema

Fellow Arsenal teammates Jill Roord and Danielle Van de Donk were also on the scoresheet for Netherlands, as they claimed an 11th win from their last 15 games.

The only loss during that run came in November last year, when they were defeated 2-0 by the U.S.A. On Sunday, Germany will play Belgium, before facing the Dutch in Venlo next Wednesday.

U.S.A. start SheBelieves Cup defence with win over Canada

Rose Lavelle scored a late winner for the United States as they beat Canada 1-0 in the SheBelieves Cup.

Bidding for their fourth title, the U.S. have now won 35 matches in a row and 51 on home soil.

Canada, who have not beaten their North-American rivals since 2001, were competitive for the majority of the game, despite having a number of notable absentees, including Christine Sinclair, Bianca St-Georges and Jordyn Huitema.

In the other game of the competition, Brazil beat Argentina 4-1 as captain Marta scored her 109th international goal. Brazil will play the U.S. on Sunday while Argentina face Canada.

Osaka bidding for fourth Grand Slam at the Australian Open tomorrow

Three-time major champion Naomi Osaka will seek to maintain her 100% win record in Grand Slam finals when she faces Jennifer Brady in tomorrow’s Australian Open final.

The 23-year-old has already won two U.S. Open titles and was also triumphant at Melbourne back in 2019.

Having again beaten Serena Williams in the previous round, the Japanese sensation is now on a run of 20 consecutive wins, having been in imperious form throughout this year’s championship.

Naomi Osaka

Her opponent in Saturday’s final is 22nd seed Jennifer Brady, who has dropped just two sets all tournament so far. The pair most recently met in last year’s U.S. Open semi final, as Osaka recovered from a set down to claim victory before beating Victoria Azarenka in the final.

Brady described that match as one of the greatest of her career, but will be looking for revenge this time round as she chases the first major silverware of her career.

UK Sport unveils Dr Kate Baker as new performance director

UK Sport has today named Dr Kate Baker as its new performance director.

The FA’s former head of player insights will become the third person to hold this role since January 2020, after Chelsea Warr left the position and Michael Bourne took over on an interim basis.

Dr Baker will start her new position with Britain's elite sport funding body in May. Having previously spent time with UK Sport as their head of performance pathways, she said she is “thrilled to take over a challenging and exciting role.”

Her appointment comes during a time when UK Sport is attempting to cope with issues concerning funding and attempting to improve the culture of multiple sports programmes.

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