There are eight players in the England Women’s squad for this year’s World Cup that are embarking on their first, there are also eight that are embarking on their third. For Karen Bardsley, it’s her second.
The Manchester City goalkeeper was playing back in the United States in 2011, where she was born, and like several other England stars were before the inception of the FA Women’s Super League in the last few years.
With goalkeeping competition at an all-time high in the England squad, there is no guarantee that City’s number one will start for England when they play France on June 9th, but she’s ready for the challenge.
We caught up with her after the squad was announced in London on Monday…
How are your general feelings after being selected for the World Cup?
Excited, absolutely. Over the moon in fact. It feels like it was a long time coming, as soon as we finished in 2011 everyone was just itching for the next World Cup to come around.
Everybody here is over the moon, everyone’s very, very excited and we just want to get out there now.
You’ve got a really good mix of youth and experience in this squad haven’t you?
Yeah we do. We’ve got much more depth than ever before, it’s incredible.
We’ve got the exuberance of youth, they’re going to bring a lot of excitement to our game, it’s their first World Cup but they’ll all deal with the situation well.
What are you most looking forward to, obviously for you it’s a return to North America…
Just being in Canada, it means my friends and family can come to see me play in a major tournament which is fantastic for me.
It’s just another opportunity to raise the bar in women’s football in England and fingers crossed we can achieve that.
How do you feel your form and fitness is going into the tournament, there’s a few players in particular who have been struggling with injury?
Yeah, I was really happy to get 90 minutes under my belt against Chelsea at the weekend, that was really important.
I felt good, I felt confident, it was a great start to my preparation and now we’ve got two weeks away at St. George’s Park, we’ll be playing some games and training and hopefully we’ll all feel good going to Canada.
The goalkeeping situation with England is quite unique isn’t it? Consistently in every tournament we have three top class goalkeepers, does that just drive you on?
The ‘keeper situation is awesome, we’ve got a great little group, there’s only one position but we’re all supportive of each other and we all drive the others one 100% because we want whoever’s playing to do well.
We’ll all do our best but we’ve got complete faith in whoever it is Mark chooses to start.
Follow Rich on Twitter @RichJLaverty