Mark Sampson sympathetic to WSL coaches over fixtures

England coach Mark Sampson
Sampson will expect his side to qualify easily for Euro 2017

England coach Mark Sampson has sympathised with Women's Super League teams over the disruptive schedule of the national team in March and April.

The Lionesses are currently in the United States for the SheBelieves Cup tournament and then play two Euro 2017 qualifiers next month.

It means the new WSL season, which starts on 23 March, breaks after games on 28 March and resumes on 21 April.

"The challenge is to find the right balance," said Sampson.

"Have we got that yet? I don't think we have, we've still got to keep working on this, and make sure we give the players and clubs the best chance to be successful, but in turn that must allow the international team to have every opportunity to win major tournaments.

"We know that if England win a major tournament the impact that will have on the game is far greater than anything else we could ever do in the women's game."

Sampson is keen to avoid a club-versus-country row but as a former boss of Bristol Academy he knows why WSL head coaches may be unhappy with the scheduling.

England host Belgium on Friday, 8 April in Rotherham before travelling to face Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday, 12 April.

"Any club manager will always want more time with their players, just like I want more time with the players," he added.

"We're in constant communication about doing what's right by the players, and getting the best out of the players and trying to develop a programme that fits international and fits club."

Top Stories