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Four get first England call
 Women's Football England International News - 21 Aug 2019
Phil Neville has named the England Women's squad for the forthcoming August and September friendlies against Belgium and Norway.
The 24-player squad will meet up at The FA's St George's Park base next week for the first time since their high-profile FIFA Women's World Cup campaign in France last month.
The Lionesses face Belgium at the Den Dreef Stadium in Leuven on Thursday 29th August (kick off 7.30pm local time, 6.30pm UK). It will be the first meeting between the teams since a 2017 UEFA EURO qualifier at the same venue.
The squad then travel to Bergen to take on their World Cup quarter-final opponents Norway at Brann Stadion on Tuesday 3rd September (kick off 6pm local time, 5pm UK).
Neville has opted for a blend of youth and experience as the Lionesses build towards the home UEFA EURO 2021, naming four senior debutants amongst his squad. Chelsea's Bethany England and Manchester City's Aoife Mannion have been handed their first senior call-ups having both impressed for club and country.
Meanwhile, two of the Young Lionesses' bronze medal-winning U20 World Cup squad also receive their first senior call-ups. Clemson University goalkeeper Sandy MacIver caught Neville's eye when she was awarded the Golden Glove for her outstanding performances in the 2018 tournament in France. Defender Anna Patten, a graduate of Arsenal now playing for the University of South Carolina, is the squad's other debutant, having earned 42 caps at youth level since 2010.
The inclusion of 20-year-old Patten and 21-year-old MacIver in Neville's squad signals his continued drive alongside Marley to bring the country's brightest young talent through the development teams and into the senior England set up.
Meanwhile, 19 members of the Lionesses' FIFA Women's World Cup squad have been rewarded with call ups, having reached the semi finals in last month's tournament which drew record TV viewing figures and unprecedented levels of support for England's Senior Women.
Neville has opted to rest Jill Scott after her outstanding World Cup campaign in order to manage the Manchester City midfielder's load ahead of the start of the Barclays FA WSL season. Fellow World Cup team mates Ellen White and Karen Bardsley miss out due to injury.
Phil Neville said: "After a strong performance at the World Cup, but one which ultimately didn't quite bring the success we had hoped for, it's important that we now regroup and refocus on our next targets, which are of course to join forces with the home nations as part of Team GB's 2020 Olympics campaign and, ultimately, to be ready to win EURO 2021 on home soil in two years' time.
"In selecting my squad it was important to me to ensure we're always working to bring exciting young talent through the pathway and into the senior team.
"I'm delighted to be able to give Beth, Aoife, Anna and Sandy their first senior call-ups. It's a huge moment in their careers and they fully deserve the honour, having impressed me so much during last season."
The Belgium and Norway games mark the first step in preparations for UEFA EURO 2021, which will be played at nine venues across England. As the host nation, the Lionesses do not have to qualify for the final tournament. Those on view against Belgium and Norway will also hope to stake an early claim for inclusion in the Team GB squad for the 2020 Olympics.
These fixtures will be followed by an exciting clash with Germany at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Saturday 9th November - with more than 60,000 tickets having already been sold.
Those wishing to travel to Belgium or Norway should note The FA has an allocation of seats exclusively for England fans, available to Lionesses Supporters Club members. Visit TheFA.com/joinlsc
England squad:
Mary EARPSManchester Utd50
Sandy MacIVERClemson University00
Ellie ROEBUCKManchester City20
Carly TELFORDChelsea210
Millie BRIGHTChelsea320
Rachel DALYHouston Dash273
Alex GREENWOODOlympique Lyonnais413
Steph HOUGHTONManchester City11213
Aoife MANNIONManchester City00
Abbie McMANUSManchester Utd160
Anna PATTENUniv of South Carolina00
Demi STOKESManchester City541
Leah WILLIAMSONArsenal80
Lucy BRONZEOlympique Lyonnais758
Jade MOOREReading FC Women501
Lucy STANIFORTHBirmingham City112
Georgia STANWAYManchester City131
Keira WALSHManchester City200
Toni DUGGANAtletico Madrid7522
Beth ENGLANDChelsea00
Fran KIRBYChelsea4513
Beth MEADArsenal195
Nikita PARRISOlympique Lyonnais4113
Jodie TAYLORSeattle Reign4618


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