Women’s football: What are the criteria for Team GB selection?

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The Olympic Games are just months away but the Great Britain women’s football team are yet to confirm a head coach.

They will have just two training camps to prepare for the tournament under a new boss, while England’s national team – who are expected to make up the bulk of the squad – will play two friendly fixtures in February, their first matches in almost a year.

It is not ideal preparation but following Phil Neville’s departure as England coach, the Football Association can finally start making plans.

So what has it done so far? What is the selection criteria for the Team GB squad? And when can we expect it to be announced?

When will the squad be named?

Players from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are available for selection.

The managers who were in charge of all four home nations at the start of 2020 were involved in drawing up a long list of players, which stands at about 50.

Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels is the only one of those managers still holding his position. Neville left the Lionesses to join Inter Miami, while former Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr stepped down in December, before Wales’ Jayne Ludlow left by “mutual consent” in January.

That long list is expected to be shortened to a 30-player shortlist in March, before the official squad announcement is made in May.

“It doesn’t mean that when we have that [shortlist in March], somebody can’t drop out,” said Baroness Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football.

“But it will be a pretty good indicator of the type of player we’re looking for. We will have about 30-32 players, which we’re taking down to about 18.”

How will players be selected?

England interim manager Hege Riise named her first squad on Tuesday for the upcoming friendlies against Northern Ireland and Canada in February.

The selection process for that squad was with Team GB in mind and the FA has pointed out three categories that will be priorities in the summer.

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