Phil Neville says England Women inspired by visit from Royal Marines

Phil Neville says a visit from the Royal Marines has helped to inspire his England Women’s team as they prepare for the World Cup.

Neville’s squad are just over two weeks away from their first group match against Scotland and have friendlies against Denmark and New Zealand before leaving for the finals in France.

As part of their training camp, Neville arranged a surprise visit from the Royal Marines for over 50 players and staff, who had to leave home comforts behind and camp in tents.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Neville said: “It was great. It was for team bonding and to take everybody out of their comfort zone. Even just little things like taking your mobile phone off you and not knowing what time of day it is.

“27 staff and 24 players were out there. We sat round a campfire and it was a group of people talking, reminiscing and listening to inspirational stories from the most humble people.

“We’ve done a lot of training and these players have been playing all season. The last thing they need is training after training after training. We’re just where we want to be.

“Everybody embraced it. The players embraced it but were slightly nervous because they didn’t know what was going on.”

England’s games against Denmark in Walsall on Saturday and New Zealand in Brighton a week later will be Neville’s final opportunity to see his side in action before they kick-off their World Cup campaign.

The head coach is not planning to tinker too much in either friendly, and when asked if he was close to knowing what his line-up for the Scotland game is, he said: “I think so. The next two games will be used to start training combinations.

“I have players that need minutes on the pitch. Toni Duggan and Lucy Bronze don’t need minutes so they’ll probably be rested in one game or maybe two.

“It’s all geared up for the Scotland game, these are just two practice games that are going to be tough.

“The plan is to make minimal changes. Certain players need rhythm and those will be the priority over the next two games.

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