All eyes will be on Hege Riise’s Team GB women’s side at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.
While the United States undoubtedly head into this summer’s games as favourites, Team GB have a real chance of securing themselves a place on the podium, and if the 2019 World Cup winners do happen to slip up, Riise’s side will no doubt be waiting to pounce.
With Team GB’s opening group game against Chile right around the corner, 90min has taken a look at the players to watch out for over the coming weeks…
Despite the fact the 2020 Team GB squad is dominated by English players, Scotland’s Weir is as close to an automatic pick as they come.
Keeping hold of the ball at any level of the game is key, but it’s arguably even more important at international level – something Weir is brilliant at. Her technical prowess and ability to produce breathtaking long-range strikes make her a joy to watch, and with so many of her Manchester City teammates joining her in the squad she’ll feel right at home.
Having recently secured a move back to the WSL after two years away with Lyon, Parris will no doubt see the Olympics as a great opportunity to remind fans from these shores just what she’s capable of.
Arsenal’s new signing isn’t exactly a diamond in the rough who’s looking to make a name for herself, but that’s not to say she isn’t one to be watched.
Parris’ goals and experience on the big stage will be vital if Riise’s side harbour genuine hopes of making it into the latter stages.
Williamson’s versatility could prove to be a key attribute this summer, with the Arsenal centre back also capable of moving into midfield when needed.
Given her ability to play in midfield, it’s probably come as no surprise to hear she’s a progressive defender who likes to step out from the back and play forward where possible – something which is likely to be a vital tool as Team GB look to break teams down.
The Gunners centre back was named in the WSL team of the year for the 2020/21 campaign and her level of performance over the coming weeks could well have a big say in how far Team GB go in this summer’s tournament.
Ingle is the only Welsh representative in the Team GB squad, yet she’s far from a novelty pick.
The versatile holding midfielder churned out a number of brilliant performances for Chelsea last season, coming within 90 minutes of securing a Champions League winner’s medal to sit alongside her league winner’s medal.
If Team GB’s stellar attacking talents are going to be given the freedom to express themselves, Ingle will likely be tasked with completing a lot of the dirty work and for that reason she’s a vital cog in the side.
It goes without saying that Kirby is one to watch at this summer’s Olympics.
The Chelsea forward is a prolific goalscorer in the WSL and having recently recorded a career best league tally for the season of 14 she should be high on confidence coming into the Olympics.
Having cleaned up at the annual WSL award ceremony recently – subsequently becoming only the second player ever to be named PFA Player of the Year on two separate occasions – Kirby is playing the best football of her career and her goals and assists will no doubt be vital to Team GB’s pursuit of the gold medal.
If you’re looking for a talented youngster who could well and truly announce herself on the world stage this summer then look no further than Hemp.
The forward made her England debut at just 19 years of age and is already a key player in a very good Manchester City side.
Hemp’s eye for a pass and mazy runs mean she’s always exciting to watch and coupled with her ability to produce spectacular long-range strikes she’s capable of lighting up even the most dreary of contests.