Khiara Keating hopes to ‘inspire’ by becoming the first goalkeeper of colour to play for the Lionesses – after Sarina Wiegman handed the Man City stopper her first call-up to the senior squad
- The 19-year-old received her first call up to the Lionesses senior team last week
- She is the fourth goalkeeper of colour to have been called up to an England team
- There has been criticism over the lack of representation in past squads
Khiara Keating says she hopes to be an inspiration as she looks to become the first goalkeeper of colour to play for the Lionesses.
The 19-year-old received her first call up to the England senior team last week following a string of impressive performances for Manchester City at the start of the Women’s Super League season.
Keating, who is of mixed race, is only the fourth goalkeeper of colour to have been called up to an England team, men’s or women’s, following in the footsteps of David James, Shaka Hislop and Becky Spencer. James is the only one to have played, with Hislop and Spencer going on to represent Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica respectively.
There has previously been criticism over the lack of representation in past England teams while Arsenal released a statement after their 2023-2024 all-white squad photo.
‘I think it’s important for anyone to make their debut but obviously coming from a background of colour, there’s not many of us,’ Keating said.
Khiara Keating is only the fourth goalkeeper of colour to have been called up to an England team, men’s or women’s
Wiegman has handed the talented 19-year-old stopper her first call-up to the senior squad
Keating is relishing training alongside Mary Earps (pictured), England’s No 1 and the current FIFA Best goalkeeper
‘I think we’re starting to see a rise and I’m just happy that I could be an inspiration to anyone that’s out there who’s thinking “maybe I will get judged or maybe it’s not for me”.
‘I’m just grateful to be in a position where I can just be a role model to those people.’
Keating is one of four goalkeepers in the Lionesses squad ahead of back-to-back Nations League games with Belgium, with Mary Earps, Hannah Hampton and Ellie Roebuck the other three.
The teenager has been rewarded for keeping Roebuck and Sandy MacIver, who recently switched her international allegiance from England to Scotland, out of the City team but admitted she had not been expecting to get the call from boss Sarina Wiegman.
‘I was driving and then obviously, I’ve gone back on my phone and I’ve seen Sarina’s picture,’ Keating said as she recalled the conversation.
‘I thought “maybe I should call her back to see what she wants!” Then she delivered the great news and then I was just buzzing.’
The teenager has been rewarded for keeping Roebuck and Sandy MacIver out of the City team
The youngster says she has also been relishing training alongside Earps, England’s No 1 and the current FIFA Best goalkeeper.
‘She [Earps] has proven to everyone over this past year that she is so good and the best in the world and she can achieve anything.
‘Obviously, it’s a bit surreal that I am here with her. Training with Ellie and Sandy during the week, steadies the nerves a bit more, because they are two brilliant keepers as well.’
England play Belgium at Leicester’s Kingpower stadium on Friday before the return fixture in Leuven next week.
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