Belfast Telegraph

Only best will make Olympics team: Neville


By Phil Medlicott

England boss Phil Neville has stressed "everybody will be treated equally" when he selects the Great Britain squad for next summer's Olympics.

England finishing as one of the top three European teams at the Women's World Cup secured qualification for Great Britain to take part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Neville has said he will be in charge of that side.

"I can only pick 18 players for the Olympics," Neville said.

"We've got 23 players in this squad (England's for the World Cup) so I've got to lose five players from this squad before I even start thinking about the home nations.

"I've been watching the home nations players now for 18 months. I'm fully aware of the quality out there.

"What I would say is that there is going to be a certain standard of player to get in that GB squad, and everybody will be treated equally. It's not just going to be an England team, that's for sure.

"We need to take the best GB squad, the best players out there who have got the flexibility to play a game every two days in 41 degree-heat and the humidity there will be in Tokyo. And that's with 18 players.

"We're picking from a pool probably of 45 players - to pick 18 is going to be very difficult, and the selection process, I would have thought, starts when the league starts.

"I've got to look at the Scottish and Welsh players playing in the American league and make sure I give them the respect I give my own players and treat them no differently."

Neville said he'll be in contact with Scotland boss Shelley Kerr, Wales manager Jayne Ludlow and Northern Ireland's Kenny Shiels.

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