Hartlepool to host England women friendly against Sweden

Hartlepool's Victoria Park
England women will play a senior international at Hartlepool for the first time

England women will play Sweden at Hartlepool's Victoria Park on 3 August in preparation for the World Cup qualifier against Wales that month.

Mark Sampson's side, who have won their eight qualifiers to date, have several north east-born players such as Steph Houghton and Jull Scott in the squad.

Sweden women's team are currently ranked fifth in the world.

Sampson told the FA website: "It's always good to take the opportunity to pit ourselves against teams like that."

Midfielder Jill Scott, from nearby Sunderland, said: "They love their football in the north-east, it's all people talk about - it's not just men's football, it's women's football as well.

"Even before they were in the FA WSL, Sunderland Women were getting crowds of up to 1,000 so hopefully we can get a full house at Hartlepool and hopefully there will be more England fixtures in the north east to come."

England's latest win - over Ukraine - leaves them needed only a point from their two remaining qualifiers to make next summer's finals.