Lucy Parker: We have had positive conversations about playing at London Stadium

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Lucy Parker says there have been “really positive conversations” after the defender expressed her frustration over her club West Ham having not played women’s matches at the London Stadium.

In a post on Twitter last week responding to the Hammers’ announcement that their men’s under-18s team were to play an FA Youth Cup semi-final at the ground, Parker wrote: “When will we get a game at the stadium?

“Only WSL (Women’s Super League) side not to have a game at the men’s stadium and haven’t played there since 2019. Made an FA Cup semi-final last year too so can’t be that.”

Asked about that on Tuesday at a press conference at St George’s Park, where she has been preparing with England for matches over the next few days against Brazil and Australia, Parker said: “There’s been really positive conversations.

“For me, I just believe that we as females have a responsibility to leave this game in a better place and that’s the only place that my frustration has come from.”

The PA news agency understands it is a key objective of West Ham’s new-look women’s team board – to which Hammers vice-chair Karren Brady was appointed last month – to host a fixture at the London Stadium, a ground the club does not own.

Parker could find herself making a senior England debut at a packed-out Wembley on Thursday when England take on Brazil in a sold-out Finalissima.

The centre-back has been recalled by Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman having previously come into the squad ahead of last October’s friendlies against the United States at Wembley – which was also sold out – and the Czech Republic in Brighton.

Parker then had to withdraw before the games after sustaining an injury while playing for West Ham.

The 24-year-old said of the prospect of Thursday: “I think it’s going to be a crazy experience. When I withdrew from the previous camp I still went to watch the game and it was crazy even from the stands, so to be on the pitch on Thursday will be incredible.”

Describing her emotions when she had to pull out of the squad before, Parker said: “It was a hard time, to sort of wrap my head around what had happened and probably to date, it was mentally one of the toughest things I’ve experienced, because playing for England has always been sort of the end goal for me.

“It meant a lot. Leaving was hard, but knowing I just needed to get my body in a good place and get back playing and do the best I could to make her notice me again.

“I was cleaning my bathroom (when she was recalled by Wiegman) and missed her call and then we played phone hookie for a little bit and I eventually got hold of her.

“(It was) happiness and relief that the chance had come back again and just pride. The second we hung up, I rang my mum. There were a lot of happy emotions.”

Having had the initial setback not long after England won the Euros, Parker has now returned for what is the Lionesses’ final camp before Wiegman names her squad for this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

And she said: “I think the biggest message (from Wiegman) has been to just be yourself and not worry about anything that could happen in the future. Just embrace this week and show what I can do.”

Earlier on Tuesday, more than 60 former England players were in attendance at St George’s Park to receive their individual legacy caps, with skipper Leah Williamson among members of the current squad who made the presentations in a ceremony.

The Football Association last November committed to introducing legacy numbers for England Women to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Lionesses.

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