All change as Mark Sampson promises fresh start for England's women

New manager brings in players overlooked by Hope Powell

It is an old adage that the Football Association, when appointing a new England manager, tend to pick the opposite of the previous incumbent: "Bookies to bishops," as veteran sage David Lacey once said.

The same, it seems, applies to picking a new manager for the England women's team. On Wednesday Mark Sampson unveiled his first squad at his debut public appearance since replacing Hope Powell.

Sampson is 31, as was Powell when she took over, but otherwise he could hardly be more different from his predecessor. It is not just the superficial differences (Sampson is Welsh, male and white; Powell is English, female and black), there are equally large contrasts in background.

When Powell became England manager in 1996 she did so on the back of an outstanding playing pedigree, but had never coached beyond the grassroots level – though she had begun acquiring qualifications.

By his own admission Sampson "wasn't a very good player at all". Having realised at 16 he would not make it as a player, he turned his attention to coaching. He has taught amateur and professional, youth and adult, male and female. The main entries on his CV are Swansea City, where he worked in youth development under Roberto Martinez and helped bring on Joe Allen and Ben Davies, and Bristol Academy, whom he led to runners-up in the Women's FA Cup and FA Women's Super League last season. "I am young, but I have 15 years of studying and working behind me," he said.

Sampson's manner is also a change from that of Powell. She was prickly and intense with the media – and according to reports, many players too. To many, the atmosphere around the England squad was oppressive by the end.

Sampson, on today's evidence, is friendly and eager to please, almost wide-eyed in his enthusiasm for the job. He said he would demand that his players are professional in attitude on and off the pitch but there would be space for "laughs" as well as "blood, sweat and tears".

Sampson paid a warm and justified tribute to Powell's pioneering work and revealed she had congratulated him on his appointment and offered any support he required. He also hopes to tap into the knowledge of Roy Hodgson, whose office at St George's Park is next door.

Forward Jodie Taylor plies her trade in Australia (Getty) Forward Jodie Taylor plies her trade in Australia (Getty)
This may be necessary as there is a glaring hole in Sampson's CV when it comes to the international game. He has travelled widely and been involved by the FA (who have clearly had their eye on him for some time) in various international set-ups, but admits there is no substitute for actually participating.

To that end he has brought in Marieanne Spacey as his assistant. Spacey won 91 caps for England, has management and coaching experience and, as Sampson said, "will command instant respect from the players". The experience of Brent Hills, Powell's former assistant, who won all four World Cup 2015 qualifiers as caretaker manager this autumn, will also be available. He has been appointed the FA's first head of women's elite development.

But the buck stops with Sampson and he made clear in his first squad that he will be his own man. The US-based Lianne Sanderson, who fell out with Powell and refused to play for her, has been recalled. Gilly Flaherty and Jodie Taylor, whom many thought should have been introduced to the England set-up long ago, have been called up for the first time.

They are among six uncapped players in a 30-woman squad which will enjoy a week's training in La Manga next month concluding with a friendly against Norway.

One player who will not be there is Rachel Yankey, England's most capped player, male or female. She has been omitted and, at 34, may not return, though she has come back before and Sampson said "the door remains open".

Veteran Rachel Yankey did not make the squad (Getty) Veteran Rachel Yankey did not make the squad (Getty)
Also absent will be Powell's captain and star player, Casey Stoney and Kelly Smith respectively, but in both cases that is due to fitness issues. Sampson is yet to appoint his captain, but will need a new one, if only temporarily, for the Norway match.

All three of these players are older than Sampson, their absence means all but goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis are younger than the new man. This is, he said with a laugh, a coincidence.

No target has been set, by FA chairman Greg Dyke or himself, but with the growing investment in the game, England will expect to qualify for the 2015 World Cup, then reach the last eight.

England training squad

Goalkeepers K Bardsley (Man City), R Brown-Finnis (Everton), S Chamberlain (Bristol Academy)

Defenders L Bassett, D Susi (both Chelsea), G Bonner, L Bronze (both Liverpool), S Bradley (Notts Co), R Daly (LA Strikers), G Flaherty, A Scott (Arsenal), A Greenwood (Everton), S Houghton (Man City), J Rose, C Yorston (both Bristol Acad), D Stokes (Uni of S Florida)

Midfielders A Asante (Malmo), J Moore (Birmingham), J Nobbs (Arsenal), J Scott (Man City), F Williams (Liverpool)

Forwards E Aluko (Chelsea), K Carney (Birmingham), D Carter, E White (both Arsenal), G Davison, N Dowie (both Liverpool), T Duggan (Man City), L Sanderson (Boston), J Taylor (Sydney)

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas