Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Leah Williamson have been called up by Phil Neville for England’s training camp in Qatar.
England’s women’s team will travel to Qatar next week for an eight-day warm-weather training camp and Neville has named a 28-person squad for the trip.
Included in those numbers are Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Leah Williamson.
The move to Qatar represents a change for the England team who have trained in La Manga, Spain, for the last three years and harks back to Neville’s time with United when Sir Alex Ferguson took the Red Devils to Qatar to train at the Aspire Academy’s complex.
The Guardian also reports that “Early last year the FA signed a “memorandum of understanding” with its Qatari counterparts to “share resources and expertise and develop knowledge and understanding” of football issues. It is understood the camp will partly serve as a reconnaissance mission for the 2022 World Cup.”
Quite what the Qataris can share with England in terms of footballing knowledge is not clear however they do have one thing that many in the west like to get their hands on:
“We’re all really looking forward to meeting up for our first camp of 2019,” Neville said. “After a well-earned break in December, most of the players are back in club action and will be ready to push on.
“The She Believes Cup is a demanding tournament with quality opposition. This training camp in Qatar is crucial for our preparation, as we begin an important year.”
Neville has also recalled Demi Stokes and Jade Moore after their injury problems.
England Women’s 28-player travelling squad:
Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Man City), Mary Earps (Wolfsburg), Ellie Roebuck (Man City), Carly Telford (Chelsea).
Defenders: Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Gabby George (Everton), Alex Greenwood (Man Utd), Steph Houghton (Man City), Abbie McManus (Man City), Demi Stokes (Man City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Karen Carney (Chelsea), Izzy Christiansen (Lyon), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jade Moore (Reading), Jill Scott (Man City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City), Georgia Stanway (Man City), Keira Walsh (Man City).
Forwards: Toni Duggan (Barcelona), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Man City), Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign), Chioma Ubogagu (Orlando Pride, on loan at Brisbane Roar), Ellen White (Birmingham City).