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International football is coming to Norwich this month as England women’s team kick off their most exciting year yet. This February, you can enjoy a feast of football with some of the best talent the game has to offer and with the Women’s European Championships being hosted in England this summer, it is the perfect time to dip your toe into the beautiful game.
Carrow Road will play host to one matchday of the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup, a four-nation round robin tournament. On Sunday 20 February 2022, the Lionesses will take on Spain, one of the up-and-coming teams on the international scene and in the evening, Germany will take on Canada to round off the perfect day out.
England will walk out at the home of the Canaries for the first time since 2006. Much has changed since that day when they beat Iceland 1-0 through a Karen Carney strike. The Lionesses Hall of Fame were on show, but the modern squad has just as much star quality about them. With the women’s game turning professional, the Lionesses have climbed the world rankings winning a World Cup bronze medal in 2015 and reaching semi-finals of the last two major tournaments. From their all-time record scorer, Ellen White, to recent breakthrough stars such as Ella Toone and Leah Williamson, there is plenty of anticipation around this England side.
One such talent is one of Norfolk’s own, Lauren Hemp. She is the rising star of English football with a fledgling career that has caught the eye. The 21-year-old forward learned her trade at Norwich City, spending her youth career at the club and has now taken the Barclays FA Women’s Super League by storm with her scintillating pace, a key attribute for her Manchester City side. Hemp made her Lionesses’ debut against Portugal in October 2019 and when she returns to her childhood roots, she will no doubt be looking to cement herself firmly in Sarina Wiegman’s plans the summer.
This year, the stakes are even higher. Sarina Wiegman’s side host this summer’s European Championship and will be one of the favourites to bring home the trophy. Facing a lauded Spanish side will be a perfect test. European champions Barcelona have run riot on the domestic stage in recent years and the majority of that team will line up for Spain at the Arnold Clark Cup. At their heart is Alexia Putellas, FIFA player of the year and current Ballon d’Or holder, the midfielder is regarded by many as the world’s best.
Norwich will also host Germany and Canada, two more powerhouses of the women’s game. Former World and European Champions, the Germans have been rebuilding of late but are always a force to be reckoned with. Whilst Canada arrive with Olympic Gold medals in hand ready to rise to the next chapter of their story. Two teams; full of winners – it is a match up you won’t want to miss.
It’s not just about the football. This match day provides you with the perfect opportunity to explore this beautiful city. Steeped in history, you can stop in at the famous Cathedral, wander through the Royal Arcade or grab some food at the local cafés and eateries. With the Lionesses kicking off in the afternoon (15:15 GMT) and Canada taking on Germany in the evening (20:15 GMT), there is plenty of time to enjoy everything Norwich has to offer.
Don’t miss out! Tickets are still available for the Arnold Clark Cup. Make sure you get yours today at www.arnoldclarkcup.com.