At Last - England Women Line Up Friendly Double

Last updated : 09 February 2021 By Three Lions

The long wait for England Women to return to action is set to end
later in February as a behind-closed-doors friendly has been scheduled for Tuesday 23rd against Northern Ireland.

A huge amount has changed since the Lionesses were last in action, in March 2020, in the world as a whole and for the senior national team itself with Phil Neville leaving his post as manager to head for the USA and a job as manager of MLS club Inter Miami.

His profile while England boss certainly brought publicity to the side and, although the legacy of his time in charge is a matter of debate he was well-spoken on by the players who he worked with.

For the Northern Ireland game, England will be led by Hege Riise, newly-appointed to the coaching staff, on a temporary basis ahead of the arrival of Neville's sucessor, Sarina Wiegman, later in the year.

A friendly against Canada has been pencilled in for April with England now looking ahead to the delayed European Championships, on home soil, in 2022.

Before then there is potential participation for a Team GB side at the Tokyo Olympics but, amidst a hugely crowded football schedule generally, the pandemic has made it more difficult for the England side to attract attention and a low-key year lies ahead.

Update: Riise has named a 20-player squad for the Northern Ireland game, Arsenal forward Beth Mead the highest-profile absentee.

The BBC will broadcast the game live (kick-off 12.30pm) on the iPlayer and Red Button.