Arsenal and Chelsea Women players in Team GB squad for Tokyo Olympics

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal and Chelsea have had five players between them called up for Team GB’s women’s squad for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

Leah Williamson and Kim Little of Arsenal have made the cut, while from Chelsea Fran Kirby, Millie Bright and Sophie Ingle have all been selected.

Manchester City Women, however, have contributed 11 players and they dominate the 18-player group, who will begin their campaign on July 21 against Chile in Sapporo.

After that they will take on hosts Japan, before rounding up their Group E games with a clash again Canada in Kashima.

This is the first time Team GB have had a women’s football team since the London 2012 Olympic Games, where they reached the quarter-finals.

Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England said Olympic glory could “escalate” the women’s game again in this country.

“Escalate it beyond probably everybody’s imagination, in the same way that the women’s hockey team that won gold in Rio de Janeiro had thousands and thousands of young women and girls making a pathway to hockey clubs across the country,” he said.

“[Women’s football in the UK] is on a steep, positive trajectory at the moment and any success at the Olympic Games, which gives them all a fantastic platform, will only add to that. We are excited to see them compete. We are excited to see them play.”

Five players from the 2012 squad have made this one for Japan too, with Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Ellen White and Scotland’s Kim Little getting another shot at Olympic glory.

Little is one of two Scots in the squad, along with Caroline Weir, and Chelsea midfielder Ingle is the sole representative from Wales. The rest of the 18 are from England.

Team GB have named four reserve players, which include Lotte Wubben-Moy of Arsenal and Chelsea’s Niamh Charles.

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There is, however, no place for Arsenal duo Beth Mead and Jordan Nobbs, while Chelsea’s Beth England and Manchester City’s Alex Greenwood are other high-profile absentees.

Hege Riise, head coach of Team GB football for Tokyo, said: “I know first-hand as a former player just how proud my players will feel today at having been selected to represent Great Britain.

“There is no greater sporting occasion in the world and I am honoured to lead this hugely talented team into the Games.

“We will go there aiming to win and we will give everything we have to achieve success.”

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