Emma Coates’ Under-23 Women’s side earn experience mixing with the seniors during a joint training camp in Marbella

Sarina Wiegman sits relaxed in the stand of the Marbella Football Center, baseball cap on, feet resting on the back of the plastic chair in front of her, studying a team sheet. Around the England manager sits her 23-player squad, littered with Euros winners and Champions League winners, with countless domestic trophies between them. For once, they are watching rather than playing, lounging in the sun after a morning training session before their game against Austria on Friday night.

They are getting a look at England’s Under-23s, who would start well against Spain before falling to a 3-1 defeat. Of the starting XI, a few have experience with the senior side. Katie Robinson was in the World Cup squad last year and Ebony Salmon made her senior debut in 2021. A day earlier here, the Bristol City centre-back Naomi Layzell had her first taste of playing with those sitting in the stands when she trained with the senior side. For now, she and her teammates are playing without names on their shirts, trying to catch the eye of Wiegman and her coaching staff.

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