England’s interim head coach Hege Riise has admitted that she is excited by Chelsea defender Niamh Charles.
The Lionesses boss named the 21-year-old Liverpudlian in her latest 24-player squad for next month’s international friendly fixtures against France and Canada.
Charles has been converted from a winger to a full-back by Chelsea boss Emma Hayes in recent weeks and has shown great maturity in her new defensive role. Manager Hayes tipped Charles to become a quality full-back for the England national team and she is well on the way to being proven right with the player having received a call-up.
England interim boss Riise was speaking to the media including FAWSL Full-Time after the squad announcement earlier today and she said that Charles is a player which excites her.
“I have seen the talent and physicality that she has shown and she has grown into the right-back position due to injuries at Chelsea,” said Riise. “She came on in the Champions League and has played more and more minutes in those games.
“I’m excited, she is really growing into that position. To bring her in and to see her in our environment was an important decision for me.”
Riise will only be permitted to select 18 players for Team GB for the upcoming Olympic Games and she went on to highlight the fact that Charles provides lots of versatility.
“We’ve seen her in the number two position but she can also play a seven or a three position,” said Riise. “What has impressed me most is her physicality in the Champions League game and she can go up and down the field.
“You can see that she is still young and raw in some of her play but she is growing.
“In the Wolfsburg game, I saw her raise the level from the Atletico game. She is in a good place with her club, she is delivering on the field.”
Charles is one of two uncapped players in the England squad, Manchester United defender Millie Turner being the other.