Tags Posts tagged with "mark sampson"

mark sampson

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FIFA have announced the final three nominees  for the FIFA Ballon d’Or Award for the best player of 2015 and for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2015 Award.  Also the candidates for FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football has been announced.

FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees :

Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi

Neymar Jr

FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nominees:

Carli Lloyd

Aya Miyama

Celia Sasic

FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football nominees:

Luis Enrique

Pep Guardiola

Jorge Sampaoli

FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football nominees:

Jill Ellis

Mark Sampson

Norio Sasaki

The awards for all categories will be given away in a ceremony in Zurich on 11 January 2016.


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Two Chelsea Ladies players helped England Ladies gain a respectable 0-0 draw against Germany. 

Striker Fran Kirby and defender Gilly Flaherty both started for Mark Sampson’s side, with fellow Blues’ strikers Gemma Davison and Eniola Aluko spending the game on the bench in Duisburg.

Kirby was replaced by Jess Clarke with 15 minutes remaining, whilst Flaherty played a full game.

In the first game between the two countries since England beat Germany to take third place at the Women’s World Cup last summer, both Demi Stokes and Jill Scott wasted early chances to put the visitors into the lead.

However, Babett Peter, who scored an own goal for Wolfsburg in Chelsea’s Champions League quarter final defeat, saw a strike whistle past the post, with England keeper Karen Bardsley being the busier goalkeeper.

The draw does however cement England in fifth place in the world rankings, with the Three Lions taking on Bosnia Herzegovina in a Euro 2017 qualifier on Sunday.

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Four Chelsea Ladies players have been selected for England’s Euro 2017 Qualifier against Bosnia Herzegovina. 

Defender Gilly Flaherty has been selected by Mark Sampson along with strikers Gemma Davison, Eniola Aluko and Fran Kirby.

The game, which will take place in Bristol on Sunday, is England’s first home game since their third place finish at the Women’s World Cup in the summer.


England squad in full

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Rachael Laws (Sunderland), Carly Telford (Notts County).

Defenders: Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Notts County), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Jemma Rose (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Amy Turner (Notts County).

Midfielders: Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Liverpool).

Forwards: Eni Aluko (Chelsea), Jess Clarke (Notts County), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns), Ellen White (Notts County).

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Chelsea Ladies striker Eniola Aluko scored but could not prevent England losing 2-1 to China in the CFA International Tournament. 

Three other Chelsea players, Gilly Flaherty, Laura Coombs and Drew Spence, were all handed their first ever international starts by Three Lions boss Mark Sampson.

Aluko finished coolly with a low strike from the left hand side of the box, but it was a consolation after China’s Shuang Wang had scored twice.

England beat the Chinese, who are hosting the three-team friendly tournament, in the Women’s World Cup earlier this year by the same scoreline, where Blues striker Fran Kirby scored one and set up the other.

Aluko did have a chance to equalise with the score at 1-0, but after being set-up by Lianne Sanderson, she could only drag her shot wide of the post.

Manchester City’s Jill Scott and Izzy Christiansen also come close, but England couldn’t find an equaliser as they slipped to defeat to a team 10 places below them in the world rankings.

The Three Lions play Australia in their next game on 27th October.

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Eight Chelsea Ladies players, including an uncapped trio, have been called up to the England side as the Female Three Lions prepare to face China and Australia in an international friendly tournament.

Defender Hannah Blundell and midfielders Drew Spence and Laura Coombs have all been called up to Mark Sampson’s squad for the first time, along with fellow defenders Claire Rafferty and Gilly Flaherty and strikers Fran Kirby, Eniola Aluko and Gemma Davison.

The call-ups represent the success of the Ladies team last season, as Emma Hayes’ side lifted their first ever piece of silverware by winning the FA Cup at Wembley, before completing a domestic double by lifting their first WSL1 title on the last day of the season.

Also in Sampson’s 21-woman squad is Sunderland striker Beth Mead, another player receiving her first ever call-up despite being the WSL’s top scorer last season, with 12 goals.

Only one Arsenal player is included in the form of full-back Alex Scott, and there are no Notts County players included as the Magpies prepare to face Arsenal in the Continental Tyres Cup Final on 1st November.

The full England squad:

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Mary Earps (Bristol Academy), Rachael Laws (Sunderland).

Defenders: Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Laura Coombs (Chelsea), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Drew Spence (Chelsea)

Forwards: Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Sunderland), Lianne Sanderson (Portland Thorns), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns)


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Chelsea Ladies striker Fran Kirby scored twice as England thrashed Estonia 0-8 in Talinn.

In their first game of qualifying for Euro 2017, Danielle Carter scored a hattrick on her debut, with Jo Potter, Jill Scott and Isobel Christiansen all adding individual goals.

Arsenal forward Carter opened the scoring in the second minute, with Potter doubling the lead minutes later following good work from Jess Clarke.

Kirby then netted twice, either side of Scott’s side-footed effort and Christiansen’s impressive strike from 25 yards out.

Carter then added another two goals late on to wrap up an impressive win for England.

The two goals for former Reading striker Kirby are her first for Mark Sampson’s side since her goal at the Women’s World Cup last summer, where she scored on her first start.


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Chelsea Ladies striker Eniola Aluko has spoken of her pride of being involved in the recent Women’s World Cup in Canada, in her latest column on BBC Sport.

Aluko was part of the team that finished third after beating Germany in the third vs. fourth play-off, meaning Mark Sampson’s side finished the second-highest of all teams in a major tournament, behind the squad of 1966.

“The last six weeks in Canada have been a whirlwind but to return to England with a bronze medal around our necks having achieved the best finish by an England team in 50 years is mindblowing.

“We feel like we have joined a special club. To arrive home and be mentioned in the same sentence as the 1966 World Cup-winning side is a bit surreal. 

“Who knows what the reception will be like over the next few weeks, but having beaten Germany for the first time ever and reached third place, it makes all the hard work worth it.”

The key talking point of the recent tournament was how it would change female football, with many turning their heads to more financial equality in the game. And Aluko, who was England’s leading scorer in World Cup qualifying, is hopeful for change:

“The financial rewards in women’s football, compared to the men’s game, mean that we have always played for the love of the game and now it is time to use this success to make a difference to others.

“Having made history, we want to continue the snowball effect.

“We want to see the 11.9m who watched our matches translate into improved attendances at England’s European Championship qualifiers and Women’s Super League (WSL) games.

“We need to see more investment to ensure all WSL players are professional and a World Cup semi-finalist is not lining up for her club standing next to someone who has to earn a living elsewhere.

Southampton and Manchester United both received some criticism whilst the tournament was taking place, as they were highlighted as the only two Premier League clubs NOT to have a women’s team.

Aluko, 28, has said that this is a puzzling fact:

“For the biggest club in the world to not have a women’s side is puzzling.

“It must be a commercial decision because I can’t think of any other reason. Perhaps they regard it as something which is not going to make money in the next five or 10 years.

“The thing is, other teams are willing to take that hit because running a professional women’s outfit is way cheaper than running a men’s outfit and it does so much for a club’s public relations.

“Why United have decided not to follow suit, I’m not sure. They already have one of the best centres of excellence in the country, but once players reach 18 they must find another club.

“If our success at the World Cup helps persuade the club to change its mind, it would be a massive step for the game and a tangible reward from the tournament. It’s OK saying we have reached a tipping point or whatever, but that needs to translate into lasting results.”

A trained lawyer, Aluko, who has also played in the US, has said that current WSL clubs are brilliant examples for what women’s football can do:

“We have already seen what an established club can do for women’s football. In 2013, Liverpool were the trailblazers by becoming the first professional team and they won successive WSL titles. Following that, Manchester City have raised the bar, and that encouraged my club Chelsea to improve their women’s operation too.

“A Manchester United women’s team would not only give more opportunities to play at a professional level, it will give younger girls in that area something to aspire to.

“It would encourage more money in the game, more commercial sponsors and a more competitive league. It’s a no-brainer really and can only be a positive thing.”

The Lionesses suffered semi-final heartbreak in dramatic fashion, as Notts County defender Laura Bassett turned a cross into her own net after 92 minutes to send Japan through to the final, which they eventually lost 5-2 to the USA.

Bassett however quickly bounced back to play against Germany, winning praise from many for her fighting spirit. Aluko too was quick to give Bassett credit:

“[Bassett] was immense after suffering the heartache of her own goal in the semi-final against Japan.

“Just three days separated those two games but it shows you what type of character she is, that she can bounce back from one of worst moments in her career to come home with a smile on her face.”

Aluko also spoke of her personal satisfaction with her World Cup:

“From a personal point of view, it was great to get on the pitch against Germany and make an impact after coming on as a substitute.

“I’d not played since the second game against Mexico so I knew I had to take my chance if it came my way and I’m pleased I played my part.

“We were all wearing our medals throughout the evening and on the way home. My plan is to get it framed as a reminder of all the hard work and sacrifices I’ve made to achieve that goal.

“In many ways, reaping those rewards was life-affirming and it has given us the belief that we want to build on it for the European Championship in two years’ time by turning bronze into gold.”



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Chelsea Ladies have had a bid accepted for Reading Ladies striker Fran Kirby. It is a British record fee for England international.

As reported on Tuesday, Chelsea were seemingly leading the chase to sign the 22-year old despite interest from WSL rivals Arsenal and Manchester City.

It is believed that the bid accepted is in the region of £40,000-£60,000, with the transfer deadline for the WSL falling on Thursday.

Kirby was the top goalscorer in WSL2 last season, netting 29 times in all competitions, and has scored 11 goals in five league appearances for Reading so far in 2015.

She scored the opening goal in England’s 2-1 group stage win over Mexico in the recent Women’s World Cup in Canada, in what was her first start in the tournament.

Her tricky feet and skill caused her to be dubbed ‘mini Messi’ by England Women’s boss Mark Sampson.

The WSL2 leaders re-start their league campaign at home to Durham Women on Saturday, while unbeaten Chelsea host Bristol Academy in the top-flight on Sunday.

After signing a three-and-a-half year deal, Kirby said:

“It goes without saying that I’m very excited about moving to Chelsea, and I can’t wait to get started at a new club,”

“Chelsea is one of the best clubs in the world and now is a really good time for me to step up in my career.

“Myself and my family feel very privileged to be a part of the club. It’s pretty incredible for me, the last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind and moving here is the cherry on top.”

“But at the same time I am leaving behind so many memories at Reading.

“When I joined the club aged eight, I could never have imagined where it would take me. To have success with all my team-mates at Reading, played for England in the World Cup and now make this move, it’s all a little bit surreal to be honest.”


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Kirby scored 11 goals in five games for Reading this season before her transfer

Chelsea Ladies are reportedly in pole position to sign Reading Ladies striker Fran Kirby.

Chelsea are expected to bid around £40,000-£60,000 for the Royals frontwoman, which would be a record transfer fee. Kirby’s current contract runs until 2018, but WSL rivals Arsenal and Manchester City are also rumoured to be interested.

The transfer deadline for the WSL is Thursday.

The 22-year old was hugely impressive at the recent Women’s World Cup, scoring the first goal in the Lionesses’ 2-1 group stage win over Mexico. It was also Kirby’s first start in the tournament.

The team went on to finish third overall, with England boss Mark Sampson dubbing Kirby ‘mini-Messi’.

She was the only player selected for the World Cup squad who is currently playing in WSL2.

This recent interest marks an incredible tunraround for Kirby – she gave up on football when she was 17, failing to come to terms with the loss of her influential mother, who died of brain haemorrhage three years earlier.

But, she made a tentative Sunday League comeback with Reading Town Ladies two years ago before going back to the club where she had been since she was a child – Reading FC.

Kirby scored an eye-catching 29 goals in just 22 appearances last season, and she has scored 11 goals this season – from just FIVE appearances.


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England’s Women slipped to a narrow 0-1 defeat to France in their World Cup opener in Group F.

Eugenie Le Sommer’s fierce strike just before the half hour mark was enough to seal the victory for Les Bleus, who were solid at the back throughout but struggled to carve a real opening thanks to a largely strong English defence.

However, the French remain unbeaten against England for 41 years.

England boss Mark Sampson, perhaps mindful of the 3-0 defeat to France the last time the two teams met, will be sure to take heart from the slim defeat – with France ranked third in the world rankings and expected to get to at least the semi-finals.

Three Chelsea players started in Moncton, Canada, with Eniola Aluko being the sole striker in the first half. Blues captain Katie Chapman and defender Claire Rafferty also started.

England, who are ranked sixth in the world rankings, started well and nullified the threat posed by the French, particularly that of winger Elodie Thomis. However, in a drab first half which was dampened further by the heavy rain, England managed only one attempt on goal.

Despite defending astutely leading up to the opener, a moment of hesitation from Chapman led to her surrendering the ball to Le Sommer. Regardless of the five England players around her, she fired a shot from 20 yards past keeper Karen Bardsley to score her 45th international goal.

Aluko, although working tirelessly to hurry and harass the experienced French back line, had little support. Chapman then wasted the Lionesses’ best chance of the opening period when she missed the target from 18 yards, with French keeper Sarah Bouhaddi off her line.

England were however more adventurous in the second half, with the game still very much in their grasp. In a sustained period of pressure around the hour mark, Manchester City’s Jill Scott went closest, but her volley was easily saved.

There were some calls for a red card as the half progressed, as Notts County’s Laura Bassett seemed to be deliberately elbowed in the face by Camile Abily as the pair jumped for the ball. Captain Steph Houghton also went down injured in the same phase of play, and whilst down managed to block Abily’s goal-bound strike. But no card was brandished nor freekick awarded by Greek referee Thalia Mitsi.

As time ticked on, England continued to struggle to get past the ever-solid French centre backs, Wendy Renard and Laura Georges, who have over 200 international caps between them. This was despite having the added firepower of Fran Kirby and Toni Duggan. French coach Philippe Begaroo then started to withdraw his attacking force, including Le Sommer, as the French closed out the game to secure a perfect start to their World Cup campaign.

After the game, England coach Sampson said: “I thought we managed the first half superbly. We got caught by a superb finish.

“That was an excellent England performance.”


France: Bouhaddi, Houara, Georges, Renard, Boulleau, Thomis (Dali, 71′), Henry, Abily, Necib (Lavogez, 87′)Thiney, Le Sommer (Bussaglia, 81′)

Subs not used: Deville, Delannoy, Diani, Delie, Mbock Bathy, Butel, Gerard, Majri, Hamraoui

England: Bardsley, Scott (Kirby, 68′), Houghton, Bassett, Rafferty, Williams, White (Duggan, 60′) Scott, Chapman (YC) (Moore, 76′), Bronze, Aluko

Subs not used: Nobbs, Carney, Chamberlain, Greenwood, Stoney, Potter, Taylor, Sanderson, Telford



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