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Telford replaces injured Bardsley in Team GB's Olympic squad

09:05 BST 18/06/2021
Karen Bardsley Carly Telford split
The Chelsea goalkeeper has been called up as a replacement, despite Everton's Sandy MacIver being the shot-stopper on the reserve list

Carly Telford has been called up to Great Britain's women's football squad for this summer's Olympic Games, following an injury to Karen Bardsley.

Bardsley was originally named among the 18 players that will travel to Japan next month, a surprise inclusion given a hamstring problem has contributed to her playing only one game for England since the 2019 Women's World Cup.

However, the 36-year-old suffered an injury while playing for her club, OL Reign, recently and now Telford will join Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck in the final squad, with Everton shot-stopper Sandy MacIver left on the reserve list.

Why has Telford been picked?

There is some surprise at the choice of Bardsley's replacement, as it was MacIver who made the reserve list. But Bardsley's inclusion in the first place suggested that head coach Hege Riise wanted to take an experienced head alongside Roebuck, with Telford fitting the bill.

The 33-year-old made her England debut back in 2007 and, although she has only amassed 23 caps in that time, she has been to three World Cup finals and a Euros. MacIver, meanwhile, only made her international debut in February's 6-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland.

“We are very fortunate to be able to call on a goalkeeper of Carly’s pedigree," Riise said. "Losing Karen was a blow of course, but her selection was always a close call with Carly, given they both have such strong reputations. Carly is a leader and she will be a big asset for us and what we are hoping to achieve.”

What has Telford said?

Speaking upon announcement of the news, Telford said: “This is an amazing honour, although I really feel for KB and send her all my best wishes for her speedy recovery. The goalkeepers’ union is not a cliché - although we are competing to play we always want each other to do well.

"I am so disappointed for her but of course tremendously proud to get the chance to play at an Olympic Games. It is an incredible honour and I will give it all I can.”

It will be her first Olympic Games, with Bardsley and Rachel Brown-Finnis having been chosen as the two goalkeepers to represent Great Britain at London 2012.

When does women's football at the Olympic Games begin?

The women's football tournament at this summer's Games will get underway on July 21, with Team GB actually playing in the first game. They will take on Chile in Sapporo before then facing hosts Japan at the same venue three days later. Their final game of the group stage is on July 27, when they play Canada.

The quarter-finals of the tournament will all take place on July 30, with the semi-finals following on August 2. The Bronze medal match will be played in Kashima on August 5 before the Gold medal match takes place one day later, in Tokyo.

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