Walsh – ‘Best ever squad’

Megan Walsh described the England Women’s U20s squad as the best group she has ever played with at international level.

The Everton goalkeeper is one of the most experienced members of Mo Marley’s squad currently competing at the FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup in Canada.

Walsh made her international bow for the U17s against Armenia in 2010 and has gone on to feature for the U19s and Under-23s.

England v Nigeria

FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup
Group C
1am BST, Thursday 14 August 2014
Edmonton, Canada

But, as the Young Lions prepare for their crucial final Group C match against Nigeria in the early hours of Thursday morning, Walsh believes this current crop is the most talented group she has been involved with.

She said: “This is the best England squad I’ve ever been a part of.

“The fact that we did so well at the Euros last year and that we are here at a World Cup says it all.

“It’s the best atmosphere in a squad that I’ve been in as well. Everyone gets on and even the younger players have blended right in.

“The majority of us have been together since last year but the new girls fitted straight in quite naturally.

“We’ve got a good group of girls here.”

Walsh has yet to feature in Canada but she is still relishing being at a World Cup.

She was a member of last year’s U19s squad that finished runners-up to France at the European Championship and made the step up to the Under-23s earlier this year, playing for that age group as recently as June, against Sweden.

But she says being at this World Cup tops the lot.

Walsh added: “It’s been like no other England trip I’ve ever been on.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I came out here, I just wanted to enjoy the whole experience.

“It’s a whole new level. We enjoyed Wales last year and we did so well, but this is something else.

“Now we want to stay here as long as possible.”

To stay in Canada beyond this week, England must defeat Nigeria, one of only four nations to have qualified for every U20 World Cup.

Marley’s side have two points from their opening two matches, as do Mexico, while Nigeria have four points and South Korea just one – so victory for England in Edmonton will guarantee a spot in the last eight.

And Walsh in confident her team-mates can claim the necessary three points.

She said: “I think we’ve got a good chance of qualifying. The mood in the camp is really good.

“We need to stick to the game plan, even when things aren’t going our way. We can’t panic, we need to just go back to basics if we have to.

“We’ve had a few really good meetings over the last couple of days.

“We just need to tweak a few little things and if we do that I’m sure we’ll be fine against Nigeria.”