It still may not have sunk in for some of the players but England Women are European champions.
When Sarina Wiegman took charge last September, there was optimism about Euro 2022. But not many would have predicted England to go all the way and end 56 years of hurt, delivering a first senior trophy for the nation since the 1966 World Cup.
There were 87,192 fans in attendance at Wembley and a further 17.4m watching live on BBC One, shutting up everyone who says that no one cares about women’s football. After the end of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, women’s football in England enjoyed a boom as the Women’s Super League became more accessible to a wider audience thanks to the creation of the FA Player – live streaming every WSL game that wasn’t on TV for free (even with its bugs, a wonderful service).
That came off the back of a semi-final exit for England in France, losing to the United States. Imagine what’s going to happen with England winning a major trophy. While the players will be taking a well-deserved holiday (like Ella Toone channelling her inner Vengaboys and going to Ibiza), fans may now be looking ahead to when they can next see the England heroes in action.
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England have announced a friendly against the United States for October at Wembley. But before then, women’s club football returns. So for those looking to get more involved in following women’s football after the Euros, we’ve put together a guide on where you can watch every member of England’s squad once their league returns.
First, though, a special mention for Euro 2022 winner Jill Scott, who left Manchester City at the end of the 2021/22 campaign and is currently without a club, so will not be found below. She won’t be a free agent for long, though.
Women’s Super League
Euro 2022 winners: Beth Mead, Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy
Over the years, Arsenal have provided England with a host of legends, including Alex Scott, Faye White and Kelly Smith to name just a few. Their current batch is spearheaded by Beth Mead and Leah Williamson, the Euro 2022 Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament winner, and the England captain. Mead was excellent for Arsenal last season, buoyed by the Team GB snub last summer, and ended the WSL campaign with 11 goals and eight assists — form she carried into Euro 2022 as we all know.
Williamson is just as vital for Arsenal as she is England, and she is often joined in defence by Lotte Wubben-Moy – though the defender was one of a few players in Sarina Wiegman’s squad not to make an appearance at Euro 2022.
While Arsenal have pre-season friendlies on the schedule, their England stars are unlikely to feature, so we instead look to the opening weekend on the WSL season when they face Manchester City at the Academy Stadium.
Shown live on Sky Sports, the game will take place on Sunday 11 September with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).
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Euro 2022 winner: Rachel DalyHannah Hampton
Unless there’s an injury, you don’t often see more than one goalkeeper used at a major tournament and that was the case for England at Euro 2022. But that won’t take Hannah Hampton’s winners’ medal away from her, and for some she was Wiegman’s second-choice shot-stopper after Mary Earps. The Aston Villa goalkeeper has played two games for Wiegman since the Dutchwoman took charge last year, keeping two clean sheets.
She has been joined at her club by a player who played every game for Wiegman. Rachel Daly has played in America’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) for most of her career, briefly returning to England for a loan spell with West Ham in 2020 and has made a permanent return, signing for Aston Villa this summer. Daly plays as a left-back for England but is actually a forward, so tune in to see where Villa line her up this season.
Aston Villa kick off the new WSL campaign between the sticks away to Brighton on Sunday 11 September at the Amex Stadium (2pm UK time).
Euro 2022 winners: Mille Bright, Fran Kirby, Bethany England, Jess Carter
Chelsea had more players at Euro 2022 than any other club and four of those represented England. Partnering Williamson at the back for Wiegman was Millie ‘Brick Wall’ Bright, one of the best centre-backs in the WSL who was an absolute rock at the tournament (although her passing abilities shouldn’t be forgotten).
There’s also Fran Kirby, who started every game for England despite not playing for Chelsea since February due to fatigue, going as far as having to get an oxygen tent at home – just under two years on from recovering from pericarditis.
Both Bright and Kirby are guaranteed starters for Chelsea, while Jess Carter was last season part of the Blues’ defence that won the Double. Carter didn’t manage to get on the pitch at Euro 2022, and neither did Bethany England, but both will definitely be involved more for Emma Hayes’ Chelsea.
The defending WSL champions kick off their search for a fourth-consecutive title with a home tie against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge, live on the BBC, on Sunday 11 September (12:30pm kick-off).
Euro 2022 winners: Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp, Ellen White, Keira Walsh, Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes, Ellie Roebuck
Manchester City have become England’s team over the years and had no fewer than seven players in Wiegman’s squad. That’s without counting three more players who were on their books last season but secured moves elsewhere before Euro 2022.
Of course, the name on everyone’s lips right now is Chloe Kelly for her Euro-2022 goal and already iconic celebration, an homage Brandi Chastain, And let’s not forget that she only returned from an ACL injury a few months ago.
Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Keira Walsh were all part of Wiegman’s standard XI and the latter won Player of the Match in the final, capping off a tremendous tournament.
Before the tournament, many expected Alex Greenwood to partner Bright at the back with Williamson in midfield, but the Man City defender had to watch on for most of the tournament, only coming on for a few cameo appearances at left-back. Demi Stokes and Ellie Roebuck will expect more game time for Man City than they managed for England, with the latter one of the best goalkeepers in the WSL.
Man City do have Champions League qualifying before the start of the WSL and, perhaps surprisingly, some of their England contingent have returned to training. The Citizens face Tomiris Turan in their first game on August 18 at 8pm, live on DAZN and their YouTube channel, with the winner taking on either Real Madrid or Sturm Graz to reach the next round.
Euro 2022 winners: Mary Earps, Ella Toone, Alessia Russo, Nikita Parris
“Here we gooooo, Tooney and Lessi Russo.”
Ella Toone and Alessia Russo have made themselves household names for their impact from the bench at Euro 2022, scoring great goals. For Russo, it was that backheel against Sweden which nutmegged Hedvig Lindahl and was no doubt recreated by millions of people the next day using everything from actual footballs to a bits of litter on the floor. Toone, meanwhile, not only scored the equaliser against Spain in the quarter-final but opened the scoring in the final with a delicious chip, not long after coming on for Kirby.
And who can forget Mary Earps, England’s almost-unbeatable goalkeeper who conceded just two goals at Euro 2022 and was a hero in particular against Sweden and Spain. All three were Red Devils before the tournament and they have been joined at Manchester United by Nikita Parris, signed from Arsenal.
Man Utd kick off their WSL campaign against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday 10 September at 12:30pm (UK time), played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It’s also live on Sky Sports for those unable to get to the game.
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Euro 2022 winner: Georgia Stanway
Georgia Stanway is perhaps one of the more underrated players in England’s squad, doing the thankless midfield work that is so key to Wiegman’s team. At least she got her plaudits for a wonderful strike to beat Spain in the quarter-finals, something Man City fans had grown accustomed to over the years.
But Stanway is Man City no more, having joined Bayern Munich in the summer. She will link up with her new club ahead of their Frauen Bundesliga opener against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday 16 September at 5:15pm (UK time).
Euro 2022 winner: Lucy Bronze
Another Man City player of 2021/22, Lucy Bronze added an attacking aspect to England’s defence at right-back and starred particularly in the 4-0 win over Sweden. Although there were times Bronze was caught short defensively, she made up for it all with an excellent performance in the Euro 2022 final against Germany, barely putting a foot wrong.
Still one of the better right-backs in the world, Bronze will now be playing her club football in Spain, having signed for defending champions Barcelona as they look to restart their quest to dominate Europe after the Champions League final defeat to Lyon.
Unfortunately, the fixtures for the Primera Iberdrola have not be released yet, despite the season being set to start on the weekend of 9-11 September.