National coach Ives Serneels announced his final roster of 23 Red Flames for Euro 2022 next month in England this afternoon. Five players dropped out today (Bastiaen, Onzia, Blom, Janssens and Van De Velde), they will be placed on a reserve list.
Serneels called up a large pre-selection of 33 names in mid-May. At the beginning of June, defender Isabelle Iliano (Club YLA/Fortuna Sittard) dropped out injured and last Wednesday the national coach thinned his group for the first time.
Attacker Jarne Teulings (Anderlecht/Fortuna Sittard), defender Shari Van Belle (AA Gent) and midfielders Marie Detruyer and Zenia Mertens (both OHL) left the selection.
Today 5 more dropouts followed. They will be placed on the reserve list, in case something goes wrong: goalkeeper Femke Bastiaen (PSV), midfielder Lenie Onzia and attackers Jassina Blom (Tenerife), Jill Janssens (OHL) and Chloé Van De Velde (AA Gent).
With Kassandra Missipo, Elena Dhont and Ella Van Kerkhoven, Serneels selects 3 players who were out for a long time. Missipo only played her first minutes since May 2021 in the friendly match against England last week.
Serneels used, among other things, the 3-0 defeat in and against England to make decisions. In the coming days, there will be 3 more practice matches for their home audience in Lier: against Northern Ireland (Thursday, June 23), Austria (Sunday, June 26) and Luxembourg (Tuesday, June 28).
The Flames will play their first European Championship match against Iceland in Manchester on Sunday, July 10. This is followed by duels in Group D against France (July 14 in Rotherham) and Italy (July 18 in Manchester).
National coach: “It’s a shame that there are no 26 selected people like with the men”
“It was not an easy weekend”, Ives Serneels sighed. “I am a trainer and a person, but we can only take 23 players and we have made the decision.”
23 and therefore no 26 names as with the men. “Women should be equal. If that is possible in men’s football for a tournament, then it is a pity that there is a difference with the women. They have also had to deal with corona.”
There were, as always, some doubts. “It was not easy not to select 5 players from this fantastic group. We are now trying to guide them with our staff.”
“Whether the group is now relieved with the clarity? That makes sense, but it was important to take time and analyze each individual optimally sporting and medical.”
This selection has grown, so the second round is our goal. If we don’t believe in that, we wouldn’t be in the right place here. We go for it with full confidence.
Because of their injuries and rehabilitation, Elena Dhont, Kassandra Missipo and Ella Van Kerkhoven were especially questionable.
“We gave them our goal for the first match on July 10. Some will be playing in the upcoming exhibition games, but our staff has already done a fantastic job.”
“We stand behind this core and we hope everyone stays fit. There are players who cannot play 90 minutes against Iceland (the first opponent at the European Championship), but then there are several days until the next match. The progress that some have made is impressive. That is their credit.”
With this group, the national coach wants to survive the group stage and therefore aim higher than at the previous European Championship in 2017.
“This selection has grown, so the second round is our goal. If we don’t believe in that, we wouldn’t be in the right place here. We are going for it with full confidence.”
Discover #FLAMETIME: the European Championship campaign around the Flames
The 23 Flames with their position and club
- Goal Women: Nicky Evrard (AA Gent), Diede Lemey (Sassuolo / Ita), Lisa Lichtfus (Dijon / Fra)
- Defenders: Laura De Neve (Anderlecht), Laura Deloose (Anderlecht), Sari Kees (OHL), Charlotte Tison (Anderlecht), Amber Tysiak (OHL), Davina Philtjens (Sassuolo/Ita), Jody Vangheluwe (Club Brugge)
- Midfielders: Julie Biesmans (PSV Eindhoven/Ned), Marie Minnaert (Club Brugge), Féli Delacauw (AA Gent), Kassandra Missipo (FC Basel/Zwi), Justine Vanhaevermaet (Reading/Eng)
- Attackers: Janice Cayman (Lyon/Fra), Tine De Caigny (Hoffenheim/Germany), Elena Dhont (AA Gent), Hannah Eurlings (OHL), Ella Van Kerkhoven (Anderlecht), Davinia Vanmechelen (Club Brugge), Sarah Wijnants (Anderlecht), Tessa Wullaert (Fortuna Sittard/Ned).