Arsenal’s Kim Little and Leah Williamson have been selected for Hege Riise’s Team GB squad at this summer’s Olympic games, however, Gunners stars Beth Mead and Jordan Nobbs have not made the squad of 18.
This is the first time that Team GB will have a women’s football team at the games since London were hosts in 2012. Players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible for a squad of 18.
Scottish midfielder Kim Little makes the cut- Kim was part of the squad in 2012- as does Arsenal defender Leah Williamson. Leah’s versatility, given that she can play in defence and midfield, were key to her selection. Gunners defender Lotte Wubben-Moy is on the standby list.
However, Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead are surprise exclusions. Mead was highly valued by previous coach Phil Neville but did not make Hege Riise’s first England squad earlier this year with Riise citing underwhelming scouting reports. Mead has since fought her way back into the England squad, with a reduced number of 18, she has been omitted from the list for Tokyo.
Nobbs is an even more surprising exclusion from the squad though a positional change has probably cost her. Nobbs has played in central midfield for the majority of her career but spent all of last season playing as a wide forward, a position where Team GB has plenty of depth. The availability of Scotland duo Caroline Weir and Kim Little has bolstered Riise’s midfield options.
Other Arsenal players expected to play at this summer’s Olympics are Australians Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Lydia Williams, as well as Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema. Danielle van de Donk will also be selected for Netherlands but she is likely to leave the club this summer. New recruit Mana Iwabuchi will also form part of the Japan squad. Anna Patten hasn’t been selected for Team GB while Jen Beattie was not available to Hege Riise due to a back problem while Lisa Evans has been managing an achilles issue.