Rehanne Skinner urges Tottenham youngsters to push for England recognition

·3-min read

Rehanne Skinner wants to see Tottenham’s homegrown players kick on this season and push themselves into England contention ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

The Spurs boss spent a number of years in the England coaching set-up before she took up her role at the Women’s Super League club towards the end of 2020.

Skinner was at Wembley to watch the Lionesses secure European Championship success in July and, having worked with a number of Sarina Wiegman’s current squad, she is now hoping to help the development of a handful of talented youngsters at Tottenham.

Jessica Naz and Asmita Ale were part of the England Under-23 camp earlier this month and new recruit Ellie Brazil has previously been part of Mo Marley’s Young Lionesses squads, with all three urged to set their sights high for the 2022-23 season, which gets under way on Saturday when Manchester United visit Spurs.

“Obviously with Jess and Ellie, they are young players that have been involved in under-23 squads with England, and Asmita as well,” Skinner said.

“I think for every player that should be what you are looking towards and aspiring to, especially when you’ve seen such great role models do what they have done over this summer.

“For us and for England, we want to work closely with those players to try and elevate their ability to step into what it takes to be a senior international footballer.

“The league, the intensity of it and the challenges you face definitely helps prepare them when they get good quality game time on a regular basis.

“So, I hope we do get to that point with those players where they are crossing that line into the seniors and certainly our relationship with England is good from the past. We want to work closely with them to help bridge that gap.”

Ex-England assistant Skinner worked briefly with Phil Neville before she left to join Tottenham and also spent time with the likes of Ella Toone and Lauren Hemp in the Lionesses’ age groups.

It made their extra-time victory over Germany at Wembley extra special for the experienced coach.

She feels the impact of what England achieved will only be truly known in 12 months time, but in the short-term a number of WSL clubs have seen an increase in season-ticket sales and more teams will be playing in the stadiums of their respective men’s sides during the opening months of the new season.

Skinner added: “It was quite emotional if I am being honest. When you look at the way the game has evolved, having been in it a long time and to know what it was, the barriers people have had to break down, there is a lot of stuff that has gone on behind the scenes that people have done to help tread the path and enabled that to happen.

“To see it finally happen, it was unbelievable, and to do it at home, in front of the fans. We know it will have an impact on the WSL and the way the game is perceived, the desire for people to get involved and the impact it will have on younger people around the female game.

“I think there will be so many benefits and we probably don’t fully understand what they’ll be, but in a year’s time, we will look again and be like, ‘Wow it has really changed in 12 months’. I hope that is what happens off the back of it.

“It was a fantastic achievement for all the players and staff involved on the day to get it over the line.”