Kerr may face Kirby as Lionesses take on the Matildas in Alzheimer’s Society International in April
By Paul Lagan
England‘s women’s and men’s sides will be going head-to-head against Australia in London this year.
Chelsea’s Sam Kerr will be the main attraction for the women’s game as she could take on her team mates Millie Bright, Niamh Charles, Jess Carter and Fran Kirby in what will sure to be a cracker at Brentford on Tuesday, April 11 at 7.45pm In the Alzheimer’s Society International.
The men will face the the Socceroos at Wembley Stadium on Friday, October 13 (7.45pm kick-off).
The FA announced a two-year charity partnership with Alzheimer’s Society in August 2021.
The high-profile women’s fixture against Australia, raising vital funds and awareness, follows on from a notable men’s match dedicated to the same good cause last year.
On March 26, 2022, goals from Luke Shaw and Harry Kane helped England men to a 2-1 defeat of Switzerland at Wembley in the first Alzheimer’s Society International.
The Three Lions came on to the pitch for the second half without names on the back of their shirts to highlight how people with dementia often experience memory loss.
England women have not played against Australia since October 2018 when Kirby scored in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.
The last meeting for the men was a 2-1 victory at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in May 2016 when 18-year-old Marcus Rashford made history by becoming the youngest male player to score on his England debut.
April will be another busy month for Wiegman. Before the Australia date, she will lead the Euro winners against South American champions Brazil in the Finalissima 2023 at a sold-out Wembley on Thursday , April 6.
These follow the Lionesses’ final Arnold Clark Cup fixture this month against Belgium in Bristol on Wednesday having so far chalked up successive wins in the competition against Korea Republic and Italy.
England women’s head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “We are always looking for different challenges and we are really happy to play two more strong non-European teams in Brazil and Australia in April. They will both be competitive at the World Cup, and Australia will give everything to impress because they are going into a home tournament with big expectation. They will want to show they are in good shape for the finals.”
Tickets for England Women v Australia at the Gtech Community Stadium will go on sale from noon tomorrow for My England Football members, with general sale from 3pm on Wednesday.
The men’s team have a different road ahead with a year of EURO 2024 qualifiers beginning with Italy away and Ukraine at home on Thursday 23 and Sunday, March 26, respectively. Outside of the qualifiers, a ‘heritage match’ with Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday, September 12 will mark the 150th anniversary of the first-ever meeting and fixing the Australia date means the 2023 calendar is complete.
England men’s head coach Gareth Southgate said: “This will be a good challenge for us as Australia performed well at the World Cup despite against having four tough opponents. I imagine there will be a strong Aussie contingent in London for both games. We all know the sporting rivalry between our two countries and that alone will add an extra edge.”
In total, the Three Lions have played the Socceroos on seven occasions, winning four times and drawing twice, but only two of those fixtures have come on home soil.
Ticket details for the first encounter with Australia at Wembley will be announced later this year.
There are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK – enough to fill Wembley Stadium 10 times over. This April’s England v Australia fixture has been renamed an ‘Alzheimer’s Society International’ in support of the charity’s two-year partnership with The FA.
£5 would give 29 people access to Talking Point: When you're dealing with dementia, you need to know you're not alone. Logging on to Talking Point – Alzheimer’s Society’s online community - means people can share their experiences, challenges, and offload in a safe space.
£15 would pay for vital lab equipment for an Alzheimer’s Society dementia researcher:Every day, researchers use a variety of equipment. Pipettes, special chemicals, flasks - all critical to keep dementia research moving forward.
£25 would enable Alzheimer’s Society to answer 4 calls on the dementia support line:When someone is worried about their memory it's difficult to know where to turn. But help is available from the very first concerns about memory loss. Trusted Dementia Advisers can help people understand their symptoms, provide advice, and support getting a diagnosis.
For more details, and to make a donation, go to alzheimers.org.uk