Naming Euro squad early will ensure ideal preparation, says England boss Sampson

28 March 2017 02:01

England Women manager Mark Sampson has chosen his Euro 2017 squad almost four months before the tournament begins.

The player line-up for England's mission to return with the trophy will be made public on Monday, after Sampson decided it would benefit those involved to know they will be on the plane to Holland.

Although his early announcement comes as a surprise, Sampson has indicated the 23-man party will have a familiar look.

Sampson told Press Association Sport on Tuesday: "Looking at what I think it's going to take to win the European Championship, one of the options we have is to name the squad at this moment in time.

"It gives us a real good opportunity in terms of time to work with the 23 players who are going to be coming to that tournament. We've worked hard to get a longer preparation period than we've ever had, so we're meeting up on June 5 for an early July start.

"It means we can really get into detail with our planning and some individualised programmes, to make sure we've got 23 physically robust and mentally resilient players who'll be heading out to Holland.

"In any walk of life you want security, you want to feel you've got the confidence of your manager and your team-mates, but obviously in football there's a huge element of competition, and that can eat away at security at times because you are competing against your team-mates.

"So once we announce this squad, all the players who are selected will know they've got the trust and faith of the coaching staff, and of their fellow team-mates.

"Over the last six months you could probably ask the majority of Lionesses fans what they think the England squad will be and they could all probably give you 20 names and they'd be quite consistent.

"So I think that will be the case, the element of consistency is important to us."

England start their Group D campaign against Scotland in Utrecht on July 19, before playing Spain in Breda and Portugal in Tilburg.

Sampson has done his homework on players who have been absent from recent squads due to injury, which may give hope to the likes of Chelsea forward Fran Kirby, a player labelled 'Mini Messi' by the England boss during the 2015 World Cup.

"Sometimes you've got to make a decision to get the right person involved even if they haven't been involved in recent times," Sampson said.

By showing his hand early, Sampson loses the option of calling in players from outside the squad who may impress in the upcoming Women's Super League 'Spring Series'.

That is the half-season competition which runs from April to June and bridges the WSL's switch from being a spring-to-autumn league to a summer-to-spring competition.

"There's no wriggle room unless it's through injuries," said the 34-year-old Welshman.

"One of the things we've had to sacrifice is the opportunity for players to impress over the course of the Spring Series and change our mind.

"But when everyone sees the squad on Monday I think one thing they'll realise is that we're picking a group of players who over the course of two years have certainly earned the right and the opportunity to go to Holland and represent this country and do well."

Source: PA


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