Above: Lauren Hemp in action for England in their recent Arnold Clark Cup match against Spain in Norwich. She will be a key part of the squad for the forthcoming friendlies announced today. Photo: Hannah Parnell for Impetus.
England’s final preparations before UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 will include two home internationals against fellow tournament contenders in June.
The Lionesses, unbeaten in nine matches under Sarina Wiegman, will take on Belgium at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium – scene of last month’s Arnold Clark Cup triumph – on Thursday 16 June. England will then welcome the Netherlands, the reigning European champions, to Leeds United’s Elland Road on Friday 24 June. Both matches are set to kick off at 8pm.
Tickets for both fixtures will go on sale exclusively to My England Football members from 1pm on Wednesday 9 March via www.englandfootball.com/members. General sale will begin from 1pm on Thursday 10 March, with tickets available on: thefa.com/tickets.
An overseas fixture against opposition to be confirmed will then be played before Wiegman’s squad return to England to begin the last preparations for the opening match of the UEFA European Championship against Austria at Old Trafford, Manchester on Wednesday 6 July.
Speaking about today’s fixture announcements, England head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “Although at the moment we are fully focused on the two upcoming April qualifiers, with the Euros approaching you also feel the excitement growing. These matches against Belgium and the Netherlands will be just the challenge we need in the last weeks of our work to be ready for the Euros.
“I hope we can continue the progress we have shown so far and build on the strong team spirit and togetherness that we will need to have in the final tournament. And of course, playing Netherlands, and seeing so many familiar faces again who Arjan and I have worked with for many years gives a special touch to a game against good opposition.
“I am excited to be going back to Wolverhampton. We were given a tremendous welcome against Germany. I am also very pleased to have the match in Leeds. I know it is an area that has a big passion for football and I hope we can give the fans plenty of excitement at both matches.”
England have also confirmed the Lionesses will be based at the national football centre St. George’s Park in Staffordshire in the build-up to the two warm-up fixtures and the opening match of the Euros.
The June warm-up fixtures will follow two 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers away to North Macedonia and Northern Ireland on 8 and 12 April respectively with the Lionesses top of qualifying Group D on the road to Australia and New Zealand.