Lionesses to put aside club rivalry for camp in England
England internationals Millie Bright and Ellie Roebuck say club rivalry has been put aside for this camp of lionesses.
The Chelsea and Manchester City players will face each other in a crisp match in the Women’s Super League title race in late April. Only two points separate the teams at the summit, three games are still pending.
City’s Esme Morgan was the last to join the squad for the games with France and Canada on Tuesday. This increased the total number of players from the two best clubs in the WSL to 15 from 25.
Bright, who starred for leaders Chelsea this season, said: “Nothing has been said, it’s about staying on your lane day in and day out and that’s how we see ourselves and our mentality.
“Unfortunately, when it comes to crunch time, there are no friends and we have to get the job done.”
Before Chelsea and City meet on April 25, England will travel to France on Friday and host Canada in their final games in Stoke on Tuesday before interim boss Hege Riise selects her 18 players for Britain’s roster at the Summer Olympics.
This camp is critical to the lionesses looking to win their place in the Tokyo Games and while the battle for places is fierce, it is positive with 37 caps, according to Bright.
She added: “There are some top players here who can play center-backs, so as an individual it is a responsibility that I do everything I can every day to train and get my club form into the internationals.”
“Nobody owns anything here, everything can be won, but it’s good to push each other. It’s a healthy competition and that’s how you grow as a team.”
Manchester City goalkeeper Roebuck added rivals after Carly Telford and Karen Bardsley were added to that roster.
Much like Bright, the 21-year-old was eager to downplay the title interview but is excited to see Gareth Taylor’s side attempt to overthrow Chelsea.
Roebuck said: “It’s difficult when you are at camp because we have to switch attentions and just focus on playing France and Canada.
“At the moment we are one team and we are united on that, but I am sure that after the game we can look back and think about what will happen.
“It’s a huge game in the title race, it’s not being played around the bush and I’m so excited to play (in) but it has to be put aside for the next 10 days.”
The young stopper also had words of comfort for fellow goalkeeper Hannah Hampton, who found out last month that she would not be on the UK roster for that summer when the first list was cut.
The Birmingham keeper, Hampton, was briefed on the news an hour before a league game against Everton and is said to have burst into tears.
“Knowing Hannah as a person, I’m sure it will only help her become more resilient and get back on her feet in order to advance future tournaments,” said Roebuck.
“It will be just a small step in her journey that I am sure that in a few years she will look back and see that it has made her a much better goalkeeper.
“There will always be ups and downs in football and this is how you deal with it. I’m sure that if you know her, she will jump back brilliantly.”
Roebuck’s teammate at Man City and Lionesses captain Steph Houghton was excluded from Riise’s squad for the games against France and Canada due to an Achilles injury.
It opened the door for the youth in the group to make a claim, and in shape Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy is among them.
After the former England U17 captain made her senior team debut in a 6-0 win against Northern Ireland in February, she is eager to seize her next chance.
“Thanks to Steph, she’s a great player. I look up to her and that’s the kind of player I want to measure myself against,” said Wubben-Moy.
“As we have the opportunity to go to a senior camp, these are the players you want to play with. It’s a shame she is injured and we all wish her the best in her recovery, but there is an opportunity for us.” young players. “