Football Today, July 6, 2022: Leah Williamson accepts pressure ahead of Women’s Euro 2022 opener against Austria

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Williamson accepts the pressure

England captain Leah Williamson insists the hosts of Women’s Euro 2022 are accepting the pressure ahead of their tournament opener against Austria tonight.

The Lionesses are bidding for their first major international title, kicking off at a sold-out Old Trafford tonight.

Captaining his country for the first time in a final after taking over the armband from Steph Houghton, the Arsenal ace knows the Group A encounter will be an opportunity to savor.

Williamson said: “I’m sure when I look back it will be a moment I will remember forever.

“I think the only thing that could beat being on the pitch would be sitting down with [friends and family]. I think they will be really excited. It is a very proud moment and I will try to enjoy it as much as possible.

“Good luck messages are obviously coming in now. It’s good. It’s an event for them. I’m sure they’ll have a great time.”

Currently ranked eighth in the world, England are among the favorites to win the Euro crown this summer.

Given the added nervousness that being hosts will inevitably bring, the skipper says her team will be looking to use that to their advantage over the next month.

She added: “We’ve been working over the past few weeks and ticking the boxes we needed to. We know what it is and what to expect. We’re ready for it.

“Everyone has their own tricks in place to deal with it. The pressure is a privilege and we accept that. It comes with the job, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it at the same time.”

Full complement for Wiegman

Sarina Wiegman has no injury concerns in her England squad against Austria

England boss Sarina Wiegman has a top-fit ​​squad to choose from for the clash against Austria.

There were doubts about influential stars such as Lucy Bronze and Ellen White in the Lionesses’ warm-up matches but the Dutch boss has confirmed the two are available for selection.

They head into the tournament in top form after going undefeated in Wiegman’s 14 games in charge and winning all three of their warm-ups, where many of the 23-man squad claimed to start.

On whether she’s decided on her XI for the first game, Wiegman said: “It’s not finalized yet, we’re still doing it after the last training session, but yeah, it’s tough.

“It’s the most important thing to have the best players available.

“We showed that we have a very good squad with depth and it’s really good that we have to make some tough choices.”

Fabianski signs new contract with Hammers

Lukasz Fabianski has extended his stay at West Ham
Lukasz Fabianski has extended his stay at West Ham

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has signed a new one-year contract extension with West Ham.

The Hammers No1 will extend his career in East London for a fifth campaign, with the option to extend for a further year also included in the deal.

The 37-year-old has racked up 137 appearances for the club since arriving from Swansea in 2018, playing a key role in West Ham’s rise in Europe under David Moyes.

The Poland international said: “Obviously I’m delighted and very happy to be able to stay for another year, so I’m delighted for sure. The way the club has developed and started to reach its potential, it was really nice to be part of it.

“I can see how much attention this club gets when it comes to interacting with the fans or how it is portrayed in the media.

“I think there’s a lot of interest in the club, so I feel like this club is one of the biggest in the country, so I’m just honored and proud to be part of this club ever since. a few years now.”

Lamptey and Williams move to Ghana

Tariq Lamptey switched international allegiance to Ghana from England
Tariq Lamptey switched international allegiance to Ghana from England

Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey and Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams are among five players to transfer their international allegiance to Ghana ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

London-born Lamptey, 21, has represented England at youth level while Williams, born in Bilbao to Ghanaian parents, was once capped by Spain.

They join three Germany-based players in Stephen Ambrosius, Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer and Patric Pfeiffer to bolster the Black Stars’ options for the Qatar tournament, which kicks off in November.

Ghana Football Association President Kurt Okraku said: “The availability of these players means a lot to the Ghana Football Association and the Black Stars technical team.

“We have always said that we will not limit ourselves to a small group of players, but seek out the best talents from around the world who are ready to sacrifice themselves for the nation and take us to the next level.

“It gives the technical team more options to choose from, adding to our continued desire to improve the team.

“Coach Otto Addo and his technical team will continue to monitor and assess them for future assignments, including the games in September and the World Cup in Qatar.”

The Rams add a trio of signings

Conor Hourihane and James Chester have signed for the Ligue 1 Derby
Conor Hourihane and James Chester have signed for the Ligue 1 Derby

Derby have bolstered their squad with the treble signing of midfielder Conor Hourihane, defender James Chester and striker David McGoldrick.

Irish international Hourihane, 31, signed a two-year contract after being released by Aston Villa at the end of June.

His former Villa teammate Chester, 33, joined for a year after his contract with Stoke expired, with McGoldrick, 34, having signed for the same term after leaving Sheffield United.

The experienced trio are tasked with helping the Rams seal an immediate return to the Championship following their relegation last season.

The rebuilding of the East Midlands squad after their David Clowes takeover is in full swing, with six newcomers now at Pride Park.

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