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Bardsley a surprise as Riise names Tokyo team

Team Great Britain manager Hege Riise has named her 18-player team for the Tokyo Olympics, with goalkeeper Karen Bardsley a surprise addition.

The team — which is made up of players from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland — includes five former Olympians.

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England captain Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Ellen White, Bardsley and Kim Little all competed at London 2012 where Team GB went out in the quarterfinals.

As was expected, players from England make up with majority of the team with Scotland’s Kim Little and Caroline Weir and Wales’ Sophie Ingle the only players who don’t represent the Lionesses.

There are no players from Northern Ireland in the squad despite them qualifying for their first major championship this year.

Former England and Manchester City No. 1 Bardsley has only made one appearance since the 2019 World Cup. In that game against Canada in April, she was at fault for one of the goals scored by the visitors.

Other notable inclusions are Women’s Super League player of the year Fran Kirby. City are heavily represented with 11 players.

“I know first-hand as a former player just how proud my players will feel today at having been selected to represent Great Britain,” Riise, who won Olympic gold with Norway in 2000, said in a statement.

“There is no greater sporting occasion in the world and I am honoured to lead this hugely talented team into the Games. We will go there aiming to win and we will give everything we have to achieve success.”

Riise also named four reserve players with Everton’s Sandy MacIver, Arsenal’s Lotte Wubben-Moy, Chelsea’s Niamh Charles and Manchester United’s Ella Toone on standby.

Team Great Britain

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley, (Man City and England), Ellie Roebuck (Man City and England)

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea and England), Lucy Bronze (Man City and England), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash and England), Steph Houghton (Man City and England), Demi Stokes (Man City and England), Leah Williamson (Arsenal and England)

Midfielders: Sophie Ingle (Chelsea and Wales), Kim Little (Arsenal and Scotland), Jill Scott (Man City and England), Keira Walsh (Man City and England), Caroline Weir (Man City and Scotland)

Forwards: Lauren Hemp (Man City and England), Fran Kirby (Chelsea and England), Nikita Parris (Lyon and England), Georgia Stanway (Man City and England), Ellen White (Man City and England)

Reserves: Sandy MacIver (Everton and England), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal and England), Niamh Charles (Chelsea and England), Ella Toone (Man Utd and England)

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