Mark set for some tough de­ci­sions

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

ENG­LAND have their first game this month since the World Cup bronze in Canada. It’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing to see the squad man­ager Mark Samp­son picks – and who he doesn’t. Gemma Dav­i­son has been ex­cel­lent for Chelsea this sea­son. She’s a re­ally cre­ative player for the Blues.

But she’s al­ways strug­gled to get se­lected for Eng­land. I know Mark Samp­son very much rates her as a player. When he was at Bristol Academy he talked to me about be­ing an ad­mirer of her game.


She’s a cre­ative player but she prob­a­bly needs to de­velop the other side her game – track­ing back and the more dis­ci­plined du­ties.

It does some­times feel like some peo­ple will al­ways be out of favour when it comes to the na­tional side and you can’t quite put your fin­ger on why

We had Natasha Dowie as a guest on last week’s FA WSL re­view show. She’s been in good form with Liver­pool for the sec­ond half of the sea­son af­ter miss­ing out on go­ing to Canada.

Her goal flurry has put her in a good po­si­tion and from speak­ing to her I know she’s des­per­ate to get more caps. Another player hop­ing she can break in to the squad is Notts County’s Jess Clarke who nar­rowly missed out on se­lec­tion last time.

The fact of the mat­ter though is some peo­ple al­ways have to be let down.

More than any­thing it shows the tal­ent out there and the new gen­er­a­tion com­ing through.

If you look at the younger mem­bers of the Lionesses squad – the Jade Moores, Fran Kir­bys and Alex Green­woods – they more than stepped-up to the role and re­spon­si­bil­ity of play­ing in the se­nior side.

You’ve got to nur­ture that more and make a team for the fu­ture that can con­sis­tently com­pete for sil­ver- ware at ma­jor tour­na­ments.

Es­pe­cially be­cause we’ve got some very tal­ented and ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers who pos­si­bly haven’t got many years left and maybe af­ter the Eu­ros in 2017 we’ll be say­ing good­bye to some of the big names we’ve got used to.

I do think the afore­men­tioned Dav­i­son, Dowie and Clarke will be part of the con­ver­sa­tion for the Euro qual­i­fiers be­cause of their cur­rent form. They’re all play­ing re­ally well.

And no one can ig­nore Beth Mead’s goal record at Sun­der­land Ladies, plus Toni Dug­gan has been on fire for Manch­ester City since com­ing back from Canada.


All eyes will be on Eng­land, es­pe­cially af­ter the World Cup. I’ve cer­tainly no­ticed a pick-up in in­ter­est in the women’s game. I get more com­ments on so­cial media about the show now than I did in pre­vi­ous sea­sons.

The Eu­ros is the next land­mark in sight. I think it’s a cry­ing shame there won’t be a team at the Olympics in Rio next year.

Eng­land de­fender Lucy Bronze was very out­spo­ken about it. She took to so­cial media to say how dis­ap­pointed she was – and rightly so.

A team in Brazil would have re­ally con­tin­ued the cur­rent mo­men­tum fur­ther. There’s a year gap so let’s hope the in­ter­est doesn’t fade.

IN FORM: Natasha Dowie, top, and Jess Clarke

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