Sunderland Ladies coach reacts after taking charge of England Under-23s
Sunderland Ladies head coach Mel Reay will take charge of the England under-23 squad set to take part in the 2018 Nordic Tournament.
Reay has previously helped out England coach Phil Neville with the senior team and has now been handed the responsibility of looking after the Lionesses’ under-23 squad.
Sunderland and her employer, Gateshead College, have both released the coach from her daily duties to allow her to team up with England’s crop of talented youngsters.
The Lady Black Cats’ boss will team-up with the Lionesses later this month before jetting off to Sarpsborg in Norway for the annual tournament.
While in Scandinavia, Reay’s side will take on the host nation Norway (Wednesday 29 August), USA (Friday 31 August) and Sweden (Monday 3 September) in the round-robin competition
No Sunderland players have been named in the 20-person squad which boasts representatives from Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton.
And Reay has expressed her pride at naming the squad and leading her nation into the prestigious youth tournament.
“Naming the squad has been a privilege with such a talented group of players,” she said, speaking to thefa.com.
“I’d like to place on record my thanks to Sunderland and Gateshead College for allowing me to take this opportunity.
“We are all really looking forward to heading out to Norway for what is always an exciting and competitive tournament.”
During her time away from Sunderland, Reay looks set to miss the Black Cats’ FA Women’s National Division cup fixture against Morecambe Ladies - but should return in time for the trip to Huddersfield on September 9.
The Lady Black Cats started their season with a 1-0 defeat to AFC Fylde last Sunday, but return to action this weekend at Bradford City.