With Euro 2013 now mere weeks away, England coach Hope Powell has named her 23 lady squad with an eye firmly on going one better than their second place finish 4 years ago.
In truth, Powell has sprung very few surprises in her fourth European Championships squad with the only uncapped players in the final 23 coming in defence where serious injuries have deprived England of national stalwarts Rachel Unitt and Clare Rafferty. This is a squad list which sits firmly on the ‘safe’ side of ambition, with three on form but out of international players not getting
While midfielders Gemma Davison and Jo Potter, who last represented the national team in 2007 and 2009 respectively, can feel disappointed not to have been rewarded for excellent form in the early part of the 2013 season, Liverpool’s Natasha Dowie is astonishingly unfortunate not to make the final 23. The current top scorer in the FA WSL has been in blistering form since her transfer to Liverpool scoring 8 goals in her 9 games and leading the line for the season’s early leaders with outstanding aplomb.
Having qualified unbeaten for the tournament and held France to a credible 2-2 away draw at the tail end of last year, Powell has every right to retain faith in the players who have thrived under her international tutelage and it is perhaps testimony to the strength in depth currently enjoyed by the national team that players of the calibre of Davison, Potter and Dowie miss out. That said, one cannot help but feel that the addition of at least one of the aforementioned players might have added an extra dimension to the squad in a tournament where genuine designs on the latter stages seem perfectly reasonable.
Image from guardian.co.uk – thanks!