Ellen White ruled out of friendlies due to injury

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Ellen White, Karen Bardsley and Jill Scott have been left out of England’s squad for the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Norway while Chelsea forward Bethany England is among four new call-ups. By PA

Striker White, joint top-scorer at the summer’s Women’s World Cup with six goals and goalkeeper Bardsley both miss out due to injury, while their Manchester City team-mate Scott has been rested.

Bethany England has received her first senior call-up for the friendlies against Belgium and Norway after scoring 12 Women’s Super League goals for Chelsea last season.

Also elevated to the seniors for the first time are defender Aoife Mannion who, like White, joined City over the summer after leaving Birmingham, plus goalkeeper Sandy MacIver and defender Anna Patten, who play for Clemson University and the University of South Carolina respectively.

Goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, who trained with England during the World Cup campaign in France, is also part of the 24-player squad. The other member of the World Cup squad not in this group is now-retired midfielder Karen Carney. England face Belgium in Leuven a week on Thursday and then Norway in Bergen the following Tuesday.

Chelsea Women’s Bethany England has been handed her first call-up
Chelsea Women’s Bethany England has been handed her first call-up (Steven Paston/PA)

England boss Phil Neville, whose side finished fourth in France, said in a statement:

After a strong performance at the World Cup, but one which ultimately didn’t quite bring the success we had hoped for, it’s important that we now regroup and refocus on our next targets, which are of course to join forces with the home nations as part of Team GB’s 2020 Olympics campaign and, ultimately, to be ready to win Euro 2021 on home soil in two years’ time.

In selecting my squad it was important to me to ensure we’re always working to bring exciting young talent through the pathway and into the senior team.

I’m delighted to be able to give Beth, Aoife, Anna and Sandy their first senior call-ups. It’s a huge moment in their careers and they fully deserve the honour, having impressed me so much during last season.”

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