England coach Hege Riise has indicated that she selected three young inexperienced goalkeepers in her squad largely on the basis of number of minutes played for their respective clubs so far this season.
The 51-year-old named her first England squad yesterday ahead of this month’s training camp and international friendly against Northern Ireland at St George’s Park.
Riise selected three goalkeepers in her squad, Birmingham City’s Hannah Hampton, Manchester City keeper Ellie Roebuck and Everton’s Sandy MacIver. Only Roebuck has featured for the Lionesses at senior level while she has just five caps to her name. Despite the trio having little senior international experience, they have missed just two of 36 Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixtures between them so far this season and Riise has indicated that playing regular football for your club is key to being selected for the national team.
“They play week in, week out for their clubs” said Riise in England’s official press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present.
“They have games every weekend and that matters when you are going into an Olympic tournament.
“Of course, they are inexperienced but having a young group of goalkeepers together, I think there will be less pressure on them individually and hopefully, it will be an enjoyable experience for them and they can grow in their roles.”
Experienced goalkeepers such as Karen Bardsley and Carly Telford missed out on selection this time around but Riise is not closing the door on those players’ England careers, although they must get more minutes for their respective clubs.
She added “If things change with the game time for the more experienced goalkeepers, that will change my view a little bit.
“The experience is good but if you don’t get the playing time it is hard to enter my thoughts.”
England’s international friendly fixture against Northern Ireland at St George’s Park is scheduled to take place on 23 February and will be screened live on the BBC iPlayer and on the BBC Red Button.