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Left Lionesses: The Notts Players Repping England

9 June 19 words: Gemma Fenyn
photos: James Boyes | E L Loko

England’s World Cup opener against Scotland kicks off at 5pm today and promises to be quite the showdown; but did you know that, not one, but two of the Lionesses hail from Notts? We find out more about Mary Earps and Jade Moore.

Check out this awesome illustration from UEFA!

With more press coverage than ever before and nearly a million tickets sold, it seems that we’re finally getting behind the women’s game and why the hell not? Over the past few years it’s not often the Lionesses have disappointed.

Clearly, 2013’s shocking European Cup performance which saw them defeated at the group stage, provided a much needed wake-up call; since then the home squad have gone from strength to strength, achieving a third place position at the 2015 tournament, something that they will now want to build on.

I’m inclined to call the recent 1-0 loss to New Zealand a blip, particularly given their impressive performance at the invitational SheBelieves Cup Earlier in the year, where a confident England beat Brazil and Japan and drew with USA to take the title.

Having said that, it would be foolish to write Shelley Kerr’s Scotland off, England may have historically had an edge in terms of funds, facilities and training, but word from the camp suggests they’re by no means taking the fixture lightly.   

As well as Scotland and Argentina, England will face previous world cup runners up Japan again in the group stage. It all promises to be exciting stuff, but who are the Notts born players we should be looking out for?

Image: E L Loko

Born in West Bridgford, Keeper Mary Earps had a stint at Forest between 2010 and 2011 while she was still a teen. She is currently between the sticks at VfL Wolfsburg, the top tier German team who this year won their division Frauen-Bundesliga and domestic cup DFB-Pokal Frauen.

Earps made her England debut a couple of years ago and has managed to gain five caps, which is impressive in itself when you consider that the No.1. Karen Bardsley is topped only by Peter Shilton for number of England keeper appearances!

The goalie has made it clear that they’re there to win, telling Onefootball’s Lewis Ambrose, “Whoever you put in front of us, we’re looking to knock them down. We’re here to win.” The opposition better watch out, you can take the player out of Notts...

It’s not widely known, but Jade Moore was actually born in Worksop. An integral part of the squad for seven years, the midfielder credits the beautiful game with saving her life, literally. A cardiac screening before an England youth training session revealed two holes in her heart. Luckily the defect was corrected without the need for open heart surgery and Moore has gone on to gain 46 caps for her country.

Only returning from injury in April, Moore unfortunately missed out on the US tournament earlier in the year but, having been described as an unsung hero of the previous world cup, she’ll be looking to cause some disruption as part of this summer’s campaign.

Having previously had a stint with the Magpies before they folded (only to be re-launched a year or so later, don’t ask, it’s complicated), Moore is currently at Reading.

Catch Phil Neville’s squad on the BBC later today. If you’re out and about, keep an ear out for that bloke who says ‘The trouble with the women’s game is they’re too reactive.’ Trust me, it’s their go-to comment, they must get it off the back of a cereal packet or something...

 

Image: James Boyes

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