Pauline Cope has announced her retirement from international football after winning 60 caps as England goalkeeper.
England goalkeeper Pauline Cope has announced her retirement from international football.
Cope has decided to end her career after gaining 60 caps for her country. Cope was part of the England squad that reached the quarter-finals of the 1995 Women’s World Cup in Sweden and also was the No.1 for England at the 2001 European Championship Finals. She now works to develop women’s and girls football for Charlton Athletic’s Football in the Community programme.
Cope said: "It's a shame to call it a day for my country, but I wasn't enjoying it as much as I have in the past. I loved playing for England and will always cherish the memory of representing my country, but, while I will miss the matches, I was having trouble getting motivated and won't miss the build-up to games.
"When I started playing football I never could have imagined that I would get 60 caps for my country, which I think is more than any other goalkeeper, so that's something I can take a lot of pride in."
National Coach Hope Powell OBE said: "Pauline has had a long career with England and has enjoyed the opportunity to play against the best teams in the world.
"It is a shame that she has decided to leave the England set-up, but I understand her reasons and wish her every luck for the future."
Cope will miss England’s friendly international this Thursday against Nigeria, taking place at Reading FC. Her retirement from international football means that she will not take part in the UEFA European Women’s Championship, which will be staged in England in June 2005. England have already qualified for this summer’s tournament, but will be without the experienced Cope who was the No.1 when England participated in the 2001 Finals in Germany.
Cope’s last England game – her 60th cap – was in the 2-0 victory over Denmark in February.
Cope will continue to play club football with Charlton Athletic, for whom she kept a clean sheet in their final FA Nationwide Premier League match of the season in a 1-0 win at Leeds United. She will next compete with Charlton in The FA Women’s Cup Final, in partnership with Nationwide, on Bank Holiday Monday May 3rd.
National Coach Powell will now look to third choice ‘keeper Leanne Hall and replacement call-up Toni-Anne Wayne for Thursday’s match. Rachel Brown, the Everton goalkeeper and contender for the England No.1 spot, is currently out injured with a knee ligament injury and won’t return to action until next season.
The England v Nigeria women’s international will be shown live on Sky Sports, kick-off 7.30pm. Tickets are available from Reading FC on 0118 968 1000