In today’s news: Birmingham City goalkeeper Hannah Hampton receives apology from the FA for Team GB snub, Manchester City find out their Champions League quarter finals opponents, Fran Kirby signs new Chelsea contract, Emily Scarratt reacts to the Rugby World cup being moved to 2022, and the Netball Superleague returns with four days of games.
FA apologise to Hampton for Team GB snub
The FA have apologised to Birmingham City goalkeeper Hannah Hampton after telling her she won’t be part of Team GB at the Olympics in Tokyo this year.
The news was given to the 20-year-old just before kick-off in the Blues’ Women’s Super League game with Everton last night.
Hampton was called-up to England’s squad to face Northern Ireland in a friendly match last month, but did not feature.
Birmingham manager Carla Ward explained the effects the call had on the keeper, as reported by The Telegraph:
“An hour and a half before kick-off, the FA decided to give her a call and let her know she wasn’t in the Olympic squad,” Ward said. “The girls are going out to warm-up and she’s in tears.”
Ward thought the timing of the call was “ridiculous” and “thoughtless,” and added:
“We spent 45 minutes upstairs with her [before kick-off], she was deeply upset. We’ll have to pick her up because she’s naturally going to be heartbroken.”
Manchester City find out their Champions League quarter final opponents after a thumping 5-0 win over Fiorentina
Manchester City won the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie with Fiorentina 5-0 yesterday afternoon, making it to the quarter finals of the competition with an 8-0 aggregate score.
Gareth Taylor’s side were without Lucy Bronze and captain Steph Houghton, but dealt comfortably with the Italian side. Ellen White and Sam Mewis scored two goals each, while Caroline Weir hit the back of the net too.
The draw has been made for the last eight of the Champions League, with City facing Barcelona. The two-legged fixture will be played on March 24/25 and March 30/April 1.
The Citizens will be looking to beat the Spanish outfit and reach the semi final of the competition for the first time since 2018.
Kirby extends her Chelsea stay until 2023
Fran Kirby has put pen to paper on a new deal with WSL side Chelsea, keeping her at Kingsmeadow until the summer of 2023, with the club having an option to extend this by a further year.
Kirby has been a pivotal part of Emma Hayes’ side since joining from Reading in 2015, and has scored 15 goals in 21 appearances this season in all competitions.
The 27-year-old told the club’s website:
“I’ve been a part of this club for a very long time, and it didn’t take much thought, I knew where I wanted to be, and I think you could see that in my performances.
‘I was really trying to prove to myself, to the fans who haven’t been able to watch me for a long time and to the club. It was a no-brainer for me that I wanted to stay in this environment.
‘I really wanted to work and prove that I was worthy of a new contract. I’ve spent a lot of time out ill and I remember speaking to Emma [Hayes] at the start of the year and I said I didn’t want anything given to me, I wanted to earn my spot to play, I wanted to earn my spot to be involved with this team and stay in this team.
‘That’s been a massive goal of mine this season and I want to keep doing that. I’ve signed a new contract, but I want to make sure that I keep pushing myself every day and as long as I keep doing that, I know that I’ll be in a good place.’
The Blues also made it to the quarter finals of the Champions League on Wednesday, and have been drawn against VfL Wolfsburg in the next round.
The 2021 Netball Superleague is back after a week’s break
Rounds 5 and 6 of the Netball Superleague will be played over a four-day period, starting with two games on Friday evening.
Severn Stars face Surrey Storm in the first game, with centre-pass at 5:15pm. Stars sit second-bottom of the table, without a win in their four matches so far. Storm will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Wasps on February 28, they sit eighth in the league.
A huge match between Bath and Manchester Thunder follows this game, both teams are undefeated, winning all three of their matches to date.
Bath’s goal-attack Sophie Drakeford-Lewis has the competition’s fourth-highest shot success rate with 94.83 percent, scoring 55 out of a possible 58 shots, while Thunder’s goal-shooter Joyce Mvula is one place ahead of this, with a 95.60 shot success rate, converting 87 shots from 91.
League leaders Loughborough Lightning play back-to-back days on Saturday and Sunday, and will look to remain top of the league come Monday night.
Emily Scarratt reacts to the Rugby World Cup being pushed back a year
World Player of The Year Emily Scarratt has reacted to the announcement that the tournament will be pushed back a year. Talking to BBC Sport, she said:
“By now things are starting to move on with the vaccine programme here,” the 31-year-old said.
“There is the light at the end of the tunnel, so we thought perhaps we would be OK, but it is what it is.”
Emily, who is England’s top goalscorer, will however help the Red Roses defend their Six Nations trophy in April. Looking to a career after rugby, Scarratt is currently a pundit for BT Sport, when time allows her to, and sees this as a future role after she hangs up her boots.
“I think it’s important you make the most of these opportunities,” the 31-year-old said. “I’m very conscious that I won’t be playing forever.”