Focus on World Cup starts now – Sarina Wiegman

Austria v England – FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying – Group D – Stadion Wiener Neustadt
(Image credit: John Walton)

England coach Sarina Wiegman insists the focus of her Euro 2022-winning side must now turn to next year’s World Cup.

With their summer triumph firmly in the rearview mirror, Wiegman has challenged the squad she has selected for friendlies against the United States and the Czech Republic to start the countdown to next year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Euro winners Fran Kirby and Chloe Kelly have been recalled after recovering from injury but there is no place for Chelsea’s Beth England, Manchester United’s Nikita Parris and Arsenal duo Jordan Nobbs and Lotte Wubben-Moy.

“Our focus is now firmly on the FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer, all of our time together is vitally important and this is an opportunity for those selected to apply themselves to the best of their ability on and off the pitch,” said Wiegman.

“The challenge of facing the world champions (the USA) is one we look forward to and it is another tough fixture to measure our progress as we look to continue to make the next step forward.

“We are working hard towards next summer and this will help us understand where we are in our preparation.

“It would also be wrong to underestimate how good the Czech team is with our next match.”

There are first senior call-ups for West Ham’s Lucy Parker and Jessica Park, who is on loan at Everton, while Manchester City’s Esme Morgan, who has yet to make her senior international debut, returns to the squad after her call-up in September 2021, which she subsequently missed due to injury.

England will face the United States in front of a sell-out crowd at Wembley on October 7, before they move on to Brighton to face the Czechs on October 11.

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