Women's Team

Taylor: City's Lionesses could feature in season opener

Gareth Taylor says City’s England representatives could play a part in Thursday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League opener against WFC Tomiris-Turan.

Ellie Roebuck, Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh, Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and Ellen White were all part of the squad who finished as Euro 2022 champions this summer.

Sarina Wiegmann’s side got the better of Germany in an historic Wembley final on Sunday 31 July but after a brief rest period our Lionesses returned to the City Football Academy last week.

And while White will not travel with the squad after being handed an extended period of leave due to personal reasons, Taylor explained that the rest of our England contingent could feature in our Round One semi-final clash with our Kazakhstani opponents in Madrid

Taking a more general look at the squad, the City boss revealed that defender Ruby Mace would be the only other absentee ahead of our first competitive fixture of the season.

He said: “They’re (the England players) in a good condition. When you look at the nature of some of them like Chloe who didn’t get to play a lot last season and came into it late, and minutes weren’t high in the Euros, same with Alex, Ellie and Demi.

“In that respect, they wouldn’t have lost too much in that period of time so it’s just about topping them back up while giving them a few days off on the back of the Euros.

“(Ellen White is) not back with us at the moment because we’ve given her some extended time away due to personal reasons.

“Only Ruby Mace (is unavailable). She’s got an issue she picked up with England in the younger ages in the summer. Apart from that everyone else at this moment in time is in good shape.

“The new signings have had game time in more recent games. We held an in-house game at the weekend as well.

“I’m really super proud of all of the girls, it’s a word that's been used a lot, whether it be privately with the players or socially.

“The amount of pride we have as a club for those players and all our representation at the Euros, players for Spain, Holland, Norway, Sweden. We had really good representation.”

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City’s pre-season preparations have also seen the welcome return to action of captain Steph Houghton and Esme Morgan.

The defensive duo were side-lined for large period of last season due to injury, but have each featured in behind-closed-doors friendlies in preparation for the new campaign.

And Taylor has explained how much of a lift their returns have provided to the squad ahead of our clash with Tomiris-Turan.

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“Yeah, it’s a huge boost. We had Steph for small doses last season at the beginning and after Christmas, but then lost her on a couple of occasions.

“She’s a big player for us on and off the pitch. The leadership she brings is second to none which has been proven here at the Club and on the international scene.

“To have her back is great, and also Esme as well.

“We have to manage these players well in the first months of the season but the squad we have, I feel we’re in better shape to take on those types of issues.”

CITY V WFC TOMIRIS-TURAN

City take on Tomiris-Turan in the UEFA Women's Champions League.

The game kicks off at 20:00 (UK) on Thursday 18 August and is available to watch live on CITY+ and our Recast channel.

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