KEIRA WALSH will pick the brains of Rachel Daly for an insight into Canada ahead of Britain’s clash with the Olympic gold champions.
And WSL’s trump card says seeing ‘best mate’ Leah Williamson return as Lionesses captain is a ‘proud moment’ for her.
In the family Arnold Clark Cup opener England will battle a Canadian team that sent the US on its way to winning the historic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Their squad includes Nichelle Prince, 26, Allysha Chapman, 33, and Sophie Schmidt, 33, all teammates for Rachel Daly at US club Houston Dash.
And Walsh expects the Lionesses to face a quick and ‘very head-on’ Canadian side with their team featuring WSL runners-up Jessie Fleming, Deanne Rose and Janine Beckie.
The England midfielder, 24, said: “Rachel (Daly) talks to us about some of the players she has played with and against in the NWSL.
“I think it’s important for us to hear that and learn from her experience playing against them.
“We imagine them to be pretty direct and it’s all very quick.
“From meeting the girls in this year’s WSL, Jessie Fleming has had a fantastic start at Chelsea and she continued that throughout the second half of the season.
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“Obviously we have to respect the opposition, but for us it’s about focusing on what we’re doing and sticking to the game plan and starting this tournament with confidence. “
England’s clash with Bev Priestman’s players will be their first encounter with a team ranked in the top 10 in the world this year.
This will be their first game against one of the top teams in the world under head coach Sarina Wiegman.
And their opponents have lost only 1 of the last 13 international matches they have played since the two teams faced off at Britannia Stadium in April 2021.
The Lionesses will be captained by Arsenal’s Leah Williamson in all three of their Arnold Clark Cup encounters.
The Gunners centre-back, 24, has returned to her captaincy role after missing England’s World Cup qualifying match against Latvia and Austria due to a hamstring injury.
And Man City star Walsh says Williamson’s return makes her proud as the duo became best friends after meeting at an orphanage in England.
Walsh added: “When I was young and we played at the Under-17s, Under-18s and Under-19s, she was always the captain of the youth teams.
“It’s always been a role she naturally takes on, anyway, whether she’s wearing the captain’s armband or not.
“She’s had a couple of injuries recently so just seeing the strides she’s made as her best friend and teammate is a proud moment for me. .”
Canada is a bit more consistent. It’s up to us to match that
The last time Williamson and Walsh faced Canada was before boss Sarina Wiegman arrived in the fall.
And the Lionesses lost 2-1 to the former coach’s team England Priestman’s assistant.
However, Williamson thinks the outcome of Thursday’s game could be a different story.
The Lionesses captain said: “They have strengths but also weaknesses, and we’re going to try and do our best to fix that and then win the game.
“Obviously we want (to win) but I think we’ll probably learn more about them than we do.
“And we had another journey with them.
“They’ve been a little more consistent and they’ve had a bit more leeway, so it’s up to us to match that.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4702881/keira-walsh-daly-england-canada/ UK’s Walsh ready to turn to Daly to ease threat from Houston’s Dash stars