Bradley eyes Senior bow
Thursday, 19 August, 2010
Lincoln's new recruit hopes to make her England debut in Krems.
by Tony Leighton
FA Women’s Super League club Lincoln’s recently signed defender Sophie Bradley is hoping to make her senior England debut in Saturday evening’s World Cup qualifier against Austria in Krems.
Bradley, one of the star performers in Leeds Carnegie’s fine Premier League campaign last season, has twice sat on the England substitutes’ bench but not yet taken to the field for Hope Powell’s team.
With a potential trip to next year’s World Cup Finals in prospect, however, the 20-year-old former England U19 captain is desperate to make her mark.
“There’s still a long way to go to qualify for the World Cup,” said Bradley, “but I’d absolutely love to be involved if we reach the Finals. I play football to be involved in the biggest games I can get to play in, and there’s nothing bigger than the World Cup.
“I missed out on playing at the  U20 World Cup in Chile because I got an ankle injury in a warm-up game, and that was devastating. Playing for the seniors at next year’s World Cup in Germany would make up for that disappointment, but I have to prove I’m worth my place in the squad and I’ll be aiming to do that with any chance I’m given.”
Bradley may have to bide her time as England, in their final group qualifier having already won Group 5, search for points to help clinch a favourable seeding for the September play-offs that will determine which teams go through to the Finals.
She may therefore have to settle for a place on the subs’ bench for a third successive match. But that will not concern the highly promising youngster.
“I always prepare for a game as though I’m going to play in it,” said Bradley, “so if I’m on the bench on Saturday I’ll be ready to go on at any time. Even on the bench you feel part of the action, urging the girls on and hoping they’re going to get the win that England go out for in every match they play.
“When we beat Austria (3-0) at home earlier in the year I wasn’t involved but I watched the game live on TheFA.com.
“I thought we played really well that night and if we match that performance on Saturday we can win again – and that’s the most important thing, whoever’s on the pitch and whoever’s on the bench.”