Yankey going nowhere
Wednesday, 19 September, 2012
England Women’s most capped player hungry for more action
by Glenn Lavery
Against Croatia on Wednesday night, Rachel Yankey earned a record 120th cap for the England Women’s team – and helped them qualify for Euro 2013.
The winger surpassed the tally she shared with Gillian Coultard as Hope Powell’s side eased to a 3-0 victory.
Jill Scott put England ahead with a tap in on 21 minutes, Eniola Aluko doubled the lead just after half-time and captain Casey Stoney rounded off the win in the 80th minute with a low, firm drive.
Yankey might have scored two goals herself but she has vowed to keep on plugging away despite having already etched her name into the history books.
She told BBC London: "I enjoy playing for Arsenal, I enjoy playing for England and if I can get more caps and go to the Euros then that would be brilliant for me.
"I just want to keep on playing and I felt privileged to be out there.”
Although the 33-year-old missed a couple of decent chances at Banks’s Stadium she did provide the pass for England’s second goal and says the result far outweighed her own personal achievement.
She added: "It was all about making sure we played football in the right way.
“We probably could have scored more than we did but it was a good performance and all that mattered was making sure we got the three points and making sure we went through.
"It was so important that we qualified for this tournament and now we've got to go there, be positive and prove to people that we are good enough to start winning things.”
Yankey made her England debut in 1997 and she has played in two European Championships (2001 and 2005), two World Cups (2007 and 2011) and this summer’s Olympic Games.
She has witnessed the increase in ability of female footballers and the overall popularity of the women’s game over the last 15 years, and is delighted to still be a part of it.
Yankey concluded: "I've seen the game grow and it has been brilliant so hopefully that will continue.
"When I started out we didn't have enough education about the game, about the training and nutrition but that's all changed now. We are getting bigger crowds and it's viewed more positively.
"It's amazing how far women's football has come on. We need to make sure we build on that.”