Mary Earps says it’s surreal to be back in the Lionesses squad

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Manchester United Women’s number one keeper, Mary Earps, has been recalled to the England Lionesses camp as part of the squad who will take on Luxembourg and North Macedonia in the World Cup Qualifiers.

The keeper hasn’t been selected for almost two years, with her last game being in November 2019.

She has called the recall ‘surreal’. In a recent interview with The Guardian she said: “My focus has maybe shifted in terms of being more intensely on United. To be back is a bit surreal and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity. I just want to enjoy it and obviously it’s a hugely personal comeback.”

Her last game was against Germany at Wembley but she was dropped as the Lionesses went into the SheBelieves Cup.

It was hard for the 28-year-old, “There weren’t many people around me at the time, because Covid fell at that time,” she said. “I’m very proud and delighted. We’ll just see what happens but for now I’m really happy to be here and help the team in whatever capacity that may be.”

Earps has been selected by new coach Serina Wiegman.

Wiegman led the Netherlands to clinch the 2017 Euros and took them all the way to the final of the 2019 World Cup.

Earps’ teammate Jackie Groenen has given the coach a glowing review, “Jackie has spoken very highly of her previously. Her reputation just in general is great.”

She continues, “From the early meetings all I can say is the way she conducts herself just seems so switched on, direct, really articulate and intelligent, and that’s something that as a player makes you think: ‘Oh yeah, OK, I can’t wait. I think I’ve got a lot to learn here.’”

Earps is determined to make the most of the opportunity to play for her country again, “It’s really great to be back in with the girls, because, if I’m being honest, I thought my time as an international player was over.”

The Lionesses will face North Macedonia on Friday at home before heading away to face Luxembourg the following Tuesday.

Fellow United teammates Ella Toone, Katie Zelem, and Lucy Staniforth have also been selected.

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