Sarina Wiegman is set to name her England squad for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup on Wednesday – during an event aimed at raising the profile of grassroots football.
Sutton Coldfield’s Boldmere St Michaels FC – a 140-year-old club which has 70 teams across women’s, men’s, girls’ and boys’ football – will host the event.
It comes after the Lionesses published an open letter in the wake of their Euro 2022 triumph, calling for better funding for school sport and equal access for girls.
In March, the government announced a £600m funding package, alongside new rules that schools must deliver at least two hours of PE each week and that girls and boys should be able to play the same sports in lessons and after-school clubs.
The Football Association (FA) said in a statement that the location of the squad’s announcement had been made to “highlight the strong connection between the grassroots game and England teams”.
“This will reinforce the squad’s determination to positively impact participation levels, inspire future generations and also the crucial role grassroots clubs have played in the players’ development,” the FA added.
Expectations will be high for Wiegman’s side going into this summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand, following their dramatic Euro 2022 triumph and their win over Brazil in the first-ever Women’s Finalissima.
However, England will be without at least two of last summer’s tournament winners, with captain Leah Williamson and midfielder Fran Kirby both ruled out through injury.
Beth Mead, who won the Golden Boot and was named player of the tournament for that competition, is a serious doubt as she recovers from an ACL injury sustained in November.
Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze are also possible doubts, having both recently been sidelined with knee injuries.
England kick-off their World Cup campaign by facing Haiti in Brisbane on 22 July.