Form of her goalkeepers is a nice problem for Powell

Head coach has selection dilemma ahead of Birmingham City's visit.

By Bruce Talbot • 23 April 2022

By Kyle Hemsley
Katie Startup (right) has started Albion's last two WSL matches.

Hope Powell says the form of her two goalkeepers is giving her a selection headache she likes.

Katie Startup has started the last two games but Megan Walsh, who has maintained a consistently high standard of performance throughout the season, is also available for today’s home game against Birmingham City in the WSL.

Startup made her debut and kept a clean sheet in last month’s 2-0 win over West Ham and although Walsh was available for the next game against Manchester United, Startup kept her place and did well despite Albion’s 1-0 defeat.

“Katie was worthy of starting against Manchester United,” said Powell. “She did nothing wrong against West Ham and did lots of things right and although Walshy was available I wanted to see how Katie did in a game when she would be under a lot more pressure.

By Paul Hazlewood
Hope Powell said Megan Walsh has been 'outstanding' this season for Albion.

“Megan has been outstanding for us this season. She has won us a few points by keeping us in games and of course her form was recognised with her call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad. 

“So it’s fantastic for us to have two goalkeepers playing at a high level and keeping the other on their toes. Both can still improve but it gives us such good depth in an important position.”

Birmingham’s visit is Albion’s first game for three weeks but Powell doesn’t think her side will lack momentum against a side who need to win to keep their slender hopes of avoiding relegation alive.


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Powell's Birmingham City press conference

“When you don’t play for three weeks you can lose a bit of rhythm but I’m a great believer that you can take momentum if you finish your last game strongly, which I feel we did against United. It was a disappointing result and we’ve still got work to do to challenge the so-called top three or four on a regular basis but we took a lot from the game which we can take into Birmingham.”

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