England’s next step on the road towards the 2021-22 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship begins this weekend at St. George’s Park.
Gemma Davies has named a 20-player squad to meet up on Sunday for the second and final mini-tournament that will see the Young Lionesses play host to Wales, Iceland and Belgium for a place in this summer’s Championship. Only the group winners will make it through to the tournament in Czech Republic between 27 June and 9 July.
The fixtures will begin against neighbours Wales on Wednesday 6 April before they take on Iceland on Saturday 9 April. The group will conclude with a meeting against Belgium on Tuesday 12 April. All three matches will kick off at 1.30pm BST.
Head coach Davies said: "We're really looking forward to this camp and with a place in the tournament this summer up for grabs, the players know they have a great incentive to do well.
“Of course, qualification for the finals would be a great achievement as getting tournament experience and playing the strongest opposition in their age group is crucial in the development of players at this age.
“I know the players will also take so much from just being together as a group and participating in competitive international fixtures. To play at St. George’s Park and use the wonderful facilities here is a huge privilege and we all can’t wait to get started.”
England won through to this stage after three wins from three in the first round with victories against Switzerland
, Republic of Ireland
and mini-tournament hosts Northern Ireland
back in October. The competition is always keenly contested, with England memorably claiming the title on one previous occasion.
In 2009, the UEFA Women’s U19 EURO saw current England players Lucy Bronze
, Demi Stokes
and Jordan Nobbs
all be part of the victorious squad. Toni Duggan scored the opening goal before Nobbs clinched a 2-0 defeat of Sweden in the final in Belarus.
Goalkeepers: Eleanor Heeps (Blackburn Rovers, loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Khiara Keating (Manchester City)
Defenders: Tara Bourne (Blackburn Rovers, loan from Manchester United), Anouk Denton (University of Louisville), Jorja Fox (Charlton Athletic, loan from Chelsea), Neve Herron (Sunderland), Ruby Mace (Manchester City), Lucy Parry (Liverpool), Caitlin Smith (Clemson University)
Midfielders: Laura Blindkilde Brown (Aston Villa), Grace Clinton (Everton), Lucia Kendall (Southampton), Mia Ross (Charlton Athletic), Maisie Symonds (Brighton & Hove Albion), Charlotte Wardlaw (Liverpool, loan from Chelsea)
Forwards: Aggie Beever-Jones (Bristol City, loan from Chelsea), Missy Goodwin (Leicester City), Freya Gregory (Leicester City, loan from Aston Villa), Emily Murphy (University of North Carolina), Lucy Watson (Sheffield United)