Right on McCue

Sherry McCue can’t wait to fulfil a “dream come true” when England get their FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup campaign under way in Canada next week.

The Aston Villa midfielder has travelled to Toronto with the rest of Mo Marley’s 21-strong squad for a seven-day training camp ahead of their Group C opener against South Korea on Wednesday 6 August.

And after captaining her country at last year’s U19 Euros, McCue is now relishing taking on the world’s best.

World Cup schedule

v South Korea, Wednesday 6 August
v Mexico, Saturday 9 August
v Nigeria, Wednesday 13 August

She said: “I can’t wait to start playing. I am sure the experience will be unbelievable.

“I get excited even if it’s just a friendly game so this will be like a dream come true for me.

“I think every footballer dreams of playing in a World Cup. But to compete is a different story.

“I think our main aim is to put up a fight no matter who we play and what challenges we face.

“If we do that, results will take care of themselves. We will then be in control of our own destiny in terms of how far we can go. Team spirit is great and we are all confident.”

The Young Lions qualified for the World Cup by finishing runners-up to France at the European Championship last summer.

They are now preparing for three group matches against South Korea, Mexico (Saturday 9 August) and Nigeria (Wednesday 13 August) – and McCue is delighted with the progress her side has made, especially considering they lost their opening Euro qualifier to Serbia in April last year.

She added: “It was a real honour to captain the U19s last year in the European Championship final.

“I was so proud of the team in terms of the achievement of reaching that stage of the competition.

“I think the squad has come a long way. We all knew we were the underdogs in the Euros but that made us work even harder to get where we wanted to be.

“Mexico, Nigeria and South Korea will all bring different challenges. We expect them all to be of good standard – or they wouldn’t be there.

“But if we work hard and put into practice what the coaches tell us, I am sure we can pull results out of the bag.”

England’s U20 World Cup squad in full

Goalkeepers
Lizzie Durack (Everton), Caitlin Leach (Aston Villa), Megan Walsh (Everton)

Defenders
Gabrielle George (Everton), Martha Harris (Liverpool), Aoife Mannion (Birmingham City), Meaghan Sargeant (Birmingham City), Ellie Stewart (Liverpool), Paige Williams (Everton)

Midfielders
Jade Bailey (Arsenal), Sherry McCue (Aston Villa), Jess Sigsworth (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Abbeyleigh Stringer (Birmingham City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Katie Zelem (Liverpool)

Forwards
Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), Jess Carter (Birmingham City), Natasha Flint (Manchester City), Mel Lawley (Birmingham City), Beth Mead (Sunderland), Nikita Parris (Everton).