The English FA has this afternoon announced that their FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in April is scheduled to be held at the American Express Community Stadium, home to Brighton and Hove Albion FC.
The qualifier against Montenegro on Saturday 5 April at 1pm (local time), will be new manager Mark Sampson’s first home game in charge of the England Women’s National team.
This will be the first time the Brighton & Hove Albion American Express Community Stadium will have hosted a senior women’s World Cup qualifier, and we hope it will not be the last. Women’s Soccer United attended the press conference at the newly built stadium which we think will be a perfect host venue.
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber spoke at the press conference about hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying match, expressing the passion to help promote the women’s game and making sure the whole community feels a part of the Brighton and Hove Albion club. Barber added “We are expecting a big crowd”.
Casey Stoney (Arsenal Ladies / England team captain) and Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal Ladies / England international) were in attendance representing the England women’s National Team.
It was a pleasure to meet two of the key England women’s footballers, who have made a successful career both international and at club level.
Both Casey and Siobhan were impressed with the size of the stadium, Stoney commented that “As a player you want to be able to come to grounds like this and play on pitches like this. Looking at the pitch and looking at the stadium, it is going to be a fantastic venue, if we can get a fantastic crowd in as well, then even better. It will almost give you a 12th player, when the crowd gets behind you. We are playing well, played 4, won 4 and scored 20 goals so we will certainly entertain and score plenty more goals.”
Speaking to Siobhan Chamberlain, the England international goalkeeper shared her thoughts on the recent training camp in La Manga “I really enjoyed it, I think I can speak for everyone in saying it was a great atmosphere in the camp. It was new and it was fresh because it was Mark’s (Sampson) first trip as manager and it was great to see everyone eager to impress and enjoying the new set-up.”
At club level, Siobhan has an amazing appearance record playing every match in the last three seasons of the WSL. The goalkeeper has recently made the move to Arsenal Ladies and we asked how it felt to be competing for a place in the starting eleven. “I am not concerned, that was part of the reason I came here. It is a new challenge, more competitive and you’re right I have never had to compete to start a match and for me that is going to push me on further and make me improve my game”.
Siobhan had previously worked with Mark during their time at Bristol Academy “his coaching style is not different (at international and club level), he is always very enthusiastic and it is all about being committed on the pitch and working hard, giving 100%. Also enjoying yourself whilst you’re playing, he has brought that from Bristol. I can’t imagine his coaching philosophy will change at all, he will just have to adapt to the different players he is working with.”
England are competing in qualifying Group Six alongside Wales, Belarus, Turkey, Ukraine and Montengro. The side has a fantastic 100% record so far in their campaign and the match against Montenegro at the Amex on Saturday 5 April will be crucial in ensuring Mark Sampson’s side remain on track to qualify for Canada 2015.
We recommend you head to the Amex. It is a stunning stadium, they have great passion for the game, they regularly attract over 20,000 fans and the game itself will give fans a chance to see a great showcase – the opposition are not expected to beat England, however… What we are expecting from this game is a brilliant atmosphere, lots of goals and a chance to see how Mark Sampson sets up his team in a full international competitive match.
© Women’s Soccer United
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