Monday, 13 September, 2010
Kelly Smith proud to be England's all-time leading goalscorer.
by Glenn Lavery
Kelly Smith said she was honoured to have become England’s all-time leading goalscorer, after her first-half strike against Switzerland in the first leg of their World Cup play-off brought her tally up to 41, one ahead of Karen Walker.
“To be up there with Karen, is a great accomplishment for me,” Smith said after the game. “She was a great player and I loved playing with her. I’m nearing 100 caps as well - hopefully I can get there - and to become the all-time leading goalscorer is a real honour for me, but I couldn’t have done it without my team-mates.
“It’s nice to have the personal accolades but it’s about the team and scoring two goals to take away with us next week was the most important thing.”
As Smith alluded to, England scored twice before half-time, the opening goal coming from Fara Williams, to give themselves a 2-0 lead to take to Switzerland for Thursday’s second leg, though the Boston Breakers forward knows they are only halfway there.
"It’s going to be a different game,” she said of the second leg. “They have to come out and win. They came here and first-half it seemed as though they wanted to hit us on the counter-attack, which we were prepared for and I thought we did well.
“We knew Switzerland would be tough to break down. We knew we would have to be patient and wait for our opening. Getting the two goals before half-time was crucial.
“It would have been nice had we put away another of the opportunities we had. Rachel Yankey hit the bar, Eni [Aluko] hit the bar and we had a couple of other half-chances. We need to be a bit more clinical in front of goal and put teams to bed. It’s only half-time in the tie; Switzerland are still in it. We’re not taking anything for granted.”
And having starred in the 2007 World Cup in China, where England lost to USA in the quarter-final, Smith is determined to help her country get there again.
“It’s a dream to play in this best tournament in the world. Germany will put on an outstanding World Cup and if anyone can host a tournament it is them. The crowds will be big, the U20s World Cup was a great success out there, so next year’s World Cup will be amazing. Hopefully we can get there.”