Women's squad named for Serbia clash
Wednesday, 02 November, 2011
Kelly Smith and Rachel Brown recalled for Euro qualifier in Doncaster.
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Following last week’s battling 0-0 draw in Holland, Hope Powell has named her England squad to face Serbia in a UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifier at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday 23 November.
Kelly Smith has been included in the squad for the first time since this summer’s World Cup after nursing an ongoing Achilles injury. Goalkeeper Rachel Brown has also been recalled following a shoulder injury which forced her to withdraw from the squad which flew to Zwolle last month. Both players will be assessed by England’s medical team in the build-up to the Serbia game.
“Kelly and Rachel are both doing well,” said Powell of the duo’s recovery. “Because we are out of season, we will give them time to further improve their fitness and will give them the best possible chance to make themselves available for selection. But we will be keeping an eye on them and see how they go.”
The Three Lions will be looking to make amends for the Serb’s added time equaliser the last time the two nations met, in Belgrade in September. A Rachel Yankey strike and an own goal from Violeta Slovic had put England 2-0 up at the break, but a Danka Podovac free-kick in the 55th minute halved the deficit. Serbia then pushed for an equaliser in the soaring afternoon heat and it duly arrived in the 94th minute of play.
England have subsequently beaten Slovenia 4-0 at Swindon’s County Ground before claiming a point in Zwolle last week, leaving them second in Group 6, two points behind Holland.
“We recognise it was two points dropped against Serbia last time out,” admitted Powell. “We did enough on the day to win the game, but you have to give credit to Serbia for coming back at us. The players were all disappointed coming off the pitch and now we’ve got a chance to make amends.
“We have to win this game to stay in contention to top the group.”
Squad in full (click on each player's name for a full profile)
Karen Bardsley (Linköpings, on loan from Sky Blue), Rachel Brown (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Bristol Academy)
Sophie Bradley (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Lincoln), Alex Scott (Boston Breakers), Casey Stoney (Lincoln), Dunia Susi (Birmingham City), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Fern Whelan (Everton)
Laura Bassett (Birmingham City), Dani Buet* (Chelsea), Jess Clarke (Lincoln), Steph Houghton (Arsenal), Jade Moore (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Everton), Fara Williams (Everton), Rachel Yankey (Arsenal)
Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Natasha Dowie (Everton), Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers), Ellen White (Arsenal), Rachel Williams (Birmingham City)
* replaced Eniola Aluko from Sky Blue, who withdrew from the squad due to her law studies