Houghton, Weir and Ingle in GB squad

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May 28, 2021
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    England captain Steph Houghton and Wales skipper Sophie Ingle have been named in Team GB's women's football squad at this summer's Tokyo Olympics.

    Scotland pair Caroline Weir and Kim Little are the only other non-English players in the 18-strong squad.

    Chelsea's Women's Super League player of the year Fran Kirby is included and veteran midfielder Jill Scott is one of 11 Manchester City players called up.

    There are no Northern Irish players in Hege Riise's squad.

    Arsenal pair Beth Mead and Jordan Nobbs, Chelsea's Beth England and City's Alex Greenwood are among the high-profile omissions, while City striker Chloe Kelly has been ruled out with a knee injury.

    The 2020 Best Fifa Women's player award winner Lucy Bronze is selected for her first Olympics.

    "I know first-hand as a former player just how proud my players will feel today at having been selected to represent Great Britain," said head coach Riise.

    "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 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."

    Great Britain, who went out in the quarter-finals in their last Olympics appearance at London 2012, start their Tokyo campaign against Chile on Wednesday, 21 July, before further Group E games against hosts Japan and 2016 bronze medallists Canada.

    Steph Houghton, Caroline Weir and Sophie IngleSteph Houghton (England), Caroline Weir (Scotland) and Sophie Ingle (Wales) have been selected

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    Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley is the biggest surprise inclusion, having played just two games last season, both while out on loan at USA side OL Reign. City team-mate Ellie Roebuck is the other selected keeper meaning Everton's Sandy MacIver is among the reserves.

    Bardsley is one of five players in the squad to feature at London 2012, along with Houghton, Scott, Little and City striker Ellen White.

    The three non-English players is one more than in 2012's squad, when Little and Scottish compatriot Ifeoma Dieke were selected, and Ingle could now become the first Welsh woman to play in an Olympics football competition.

    Riise, 51, won Olympic gold as a player with Norway in 2000 and was also assistant coach to the USA team that won gold at London 2012.

    She is in temporary charge of England until Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman takes over in September, and has overseen two defeats and one win in three friendly matches for the Lionesses since replacing Phil Neville, who was originally supposed to manage Team GB before opting to leave for Inter Miami.

    Great Britain qualified for the Tokyo Games by virtue of England's semi-final appearance at the 2019 World Cup, and with the Lionesses the highest ranked of the Home Nations, the Football Association is overseeing GB's team in Tokyo.

    Team GB squad for Tokyo Olympics

    Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley, (Man City and England), Ellie Roebuck (Man City and England)

    Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea and England), Lucy Bronze (Man City and England), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash and England), Steph Houghton (Man City and England), Demi Stokes (Man City and England), Leah Williamson (Arsenal and England)

    Midfielders: Sophie Ingle (Chelsea and Wales), Kim Little (Arsenal and Scotland), Jill Scott (Man City and England), Keira Walsh (Man City and England), Caroline Weir (Man City and Scotland)

    Forwards: Lauren Hemp (Man City and England), Fran Kirby (Chelsea and England), Nikita Parris (Lyon and England), Georgia Stanway (Man City and England), Ellen White (Man City and England)

    Reserves: Sandy MacIver (Everton and England), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal and England), Niamh Charles (Chelsea and England), Ella Toone (Man Utd and England)

    Pick your Team GB starting XI

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    'Postponement of Games has impact' – analysis

    Emma Sanders, BBC Sport

    Selecting an 18-player squad from four nations was always going to be a difficult task for Riise, and there are several players who are unfortunate to miss out.

    The postponement of the Games has had an impact – Chelsea striker England was last year's PFA player of the year and would have been a near-certain selection at the time. Now, she misses out altogether.

    In contrast, the delay has given time for Lauren Hemp to cement her place, while the young trio of Lotte Wubben-Moy, Niamh Charles and Ella Toone have made the reserve list after impressive seasons.

    Manchester City's Greenwood will feel hard done by. She has the versatility, experience and fitness levels which the FA said were key factors in the selection process.

    And Arsenal midfielder Nobbs misses another major tournament after she was ruled out of the 2019 World Cup with an ACL injury, four years after a hamstring tear severely disrupted her 2015 World Cup.

    Scotland's Erin Cuthbert would have been another strong contender, while Northern Ireland's Rachel Furness was unfortunate not to have made the initial long list.

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