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Friday, February 23, 2024

Walsh ‘feeling fresh’ before latest round of Women’s Nations League games –

Keira Walsh says she is “feeling fresh” as she targets a fourth consecutive summer of international football.

Barcelona midfielder Walsh played for Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and then for England when they won Euro 2022 before finishing as runners-up at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The latter tournament saw the 26-year-old miss a game due to a knee injury and a subsequent calf problem saw her sit out the Lionesses’ two September matches in the Women’s Nations League — a competition through which England can secure qualification for GB for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Walsh said: “After so many tournaments, and somebody actually sent me a thing the other day that I’d played the second-most games in Europe, I think naturally that’s going to take a toll on your body. I think obviously that’s potentially a factor of why I got injured at the start of the season.

“But I did my rehab, the club and England have looked after me, we’ve had a camp since then and a lot of games in between.

“I’m feeling good, I’m feeling fresh and I think that was my little break for me to now go again and push on this season.”

Barcelona midfielder Keira Walsh is hoping for a successful season for club and country

Walsh says another tournament next summer is something she is “definitely” up for, adding: “Honestly, the thought of pre-season is worse!

“I’d rather go to a tournament. It’s special. People talk about the winning but just the feeling of being part of a team for so long and you spend every day with each other — I think then when you go home and you’re not with 50 people is also a bit weird. Even off the pitch it’s a special feeling to be part of a group at a tournament.”

England need to finish first in Group A1 to have a chance of obtaining the Olympic qualification and head into their final two pool matches in danger of falling short of top spot.

Sarina Wiegman’s side are currently third, three points behind the Netherlands, 2-1 victors against them in September, and one behind Belgium, who last month — with Walsh back in the side — they beat 1-0, then were defeated by 3-2.

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