Everything you need to know about the Team GB women’s football squad

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With the Olympic Games now just two months away, the names set to fly out to Tokyo under the guise of Team GB are being finalised. The latest announcement has come from Hege Riise, the manager of the British women’s football team.

In total, 18 players have been selected to represent Team GB at Tokyo 2020. GiveMeSport Women looks at who has been chosen, which teams they’ll be playing, and the reaction to the squad.

Who has been selected?

The Team GB squad is dominated by players from Manchester City. They make up 11 of the 18 names chosen.

This includes goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, who has been joined in the squad by former teammate Karen Bardsley.

In defence, Manchester City’s Steph Houghton and Demi Stokes, Chelsea’s Millie Bright, Arsenal’s Leah Williamson, and Houston Dash’s Rachel Daly have all been picked. Three Manchester City midfielders have been chosen – Jill Scott, Keira Walsh and Caroline Weir. They will battle for places with Chelsea’s Sophie Ingle and Arsenal’s Kim Little.

Heading up the Team GB attack will be Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Georgia Stanway, Olympique Lyonnais’s Nikita Parris, and Chelsea’s Fran Kirby.

Four names have also been selected as reserve players – Everton goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy, Chelsea midfielder Niamh Charles, and Manchester United forward Ella Toone.

Among the squad are five Olympians who competed for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games – Bardsley, Houghton, Scott, White and Little.

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Which teams will they play?

There are just 12 teams in the Olympic women’s football tournament, including hosts Japan and four-times winners United States. Defending champions Germany failed to qualify, and powerhouses France are also absent.

Team GB have been drawn in Group E and will face Chile in the opening game of the Olympic Games. This will take place in Sapporo on July 21st. They will then come up against Japan on July 24th, before travelling to Kashima to take on Canada on July 27th.

The knockout stages begin on July 30th, with the semi-finals on August 2nd and gold medal match on August 6th.

Other qualified teams include Brazil, New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden, Zambia, Australia and China. 

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What is the reaction to the squad?

Team GB manager Hege Riise, who won Olympic gold with Norway at Sydney 2000, has commented on her squad selection: “I know first-hand as a former player just how proud my players will feel today at having been selected to represent Great Britain. There is no greater sporting occasion in the world and I am honoured to lead this hugely talented team into the Games.

“We will go there aiming to win and we will give everything we have to achieve success. I hope that Great Britain’s inclusion once more in the Olympic football tournament can inspire the next generation of young girls to play the sport we love.”

The reaction on social media has mainly focused on the players who have not been selected for the squad, including Manchester City defender Alex Greenwood and Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs.

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Tom Garry, women’s football reporter for the Telegraph, posted: “I know 18 is a very small squad, so some big names were always going to miss out, but Jordan Nobbs would honestly have been one of the first 5 or 6 names I’d have included. Should be a starter, let alone in the 18”.

Greenwood’s omission has also been bemoaned. “On Team GB, plenty of ‘what about this player’ but Alex Greenwood’s omission a real surprise given she ticks the boxes of the selection requirements – versatility, experience & fitness,” wrote BBC Sport’s Emma Sanders. “She can play in a back 4 & back 3 as a CB, a LB & a LWB. Just a bit… weird.”

The exclusion of Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Chelsea’s Beth England has been questioned as well. 

What do you think of the Team GB women’s football squad?

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