An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what went into the season for 2018 Damallsvenskan champions Piteå IF. Interviews with key players Faith Ikidi, Julia Karlenäs, Cajsa Andersson, and more detail the struggles and triumphs of a team comprised of part-time footballers against the big guns of Sweden's Damallsvenskan.
England head coach Phil Neville admits it's going to be "very difficult" to cut players from the squad that beat Spain 2–1 ahead of the World Cup in June. Neville is in no rush to name his squad but he's already suggested it will happen before England step out to face Denmark in Walsall after the domestic season has ended next month.
England responded to its underwhelming defeat to Canada with a 2–1 victory against Jorge Vilda's Spain in front of 13,000 supporters in Swindon. Goals either side of the break from Beth Mead and Ellen White were enough to record the win but Aitana Bonmatí's goal from close range ensured a tense finale on a night in which Spain once again dominated possession.
Toni Duggan admits she’ll be giving Phil Neville and his England staff the “strengths of weaknesses” of her Barcelona teammates as England prepares to face Spain in Swindon on Tuesday night. There are nine of Duggan’s current club teammates in Jorge Vilda’s squad and every detail could be crucial as the Lionesses look to bounce back from Friday night’s defeat at home to Canada at Duggan’s former club stadium in Manchester.
Despite the 0-1 loss, and England's second home loss in a row, head coach Phil Neville declared himself "happy" after the match. Christine Sinclair scored the game-winner, her 180th international goal, five shy of breaking Abby Wambach's all-time record for goal by either a man or woman.
Canada's Sophie Schmidt will undoubtedly be one of the most experienced players on the pitch when Canada and England face-off for the first time in four years in Manchester on Friday night. The 30-year-old midfielder with two Olympic medals to her name is fast approaching 200 caps for her country and preparing for her fourth World Cup. The midfielder was also in the team which fell to England in front of 54,000 of their own fans in Vancouver at their home World Cup in 2015, but Schmidt is expecting a different challenge this time around with a change of head coach for the Lionesses.
Phil Neville says seeing the anger on some of his player's faces after naming his side to face Canada on Friday was "fantastic" as competition for places in the England squad heats up. Neville named a 25-player squad with several players who missed last month's SheBelieves Cup success returning in addition to the same players who traveled to the United States. With Neville aiming to give minutes to players who need them over the coming games against Canada and then Spain on Tuesday night, he admits there was some disappointment and anger when he named his starting 11 on Thursday morning.
England captain Steph Houghton is relishing the prospect of captaining her country at her club home when the Lionesses face Canada at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on Friday night. It will mark the first time the sides have met since the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal when Houghton captained her side to a famous victory and a first semifinal for the women's team.