Rachel Unitt is in line to win her 50th international cap when England face Holland next Thursday.
Holland v England
2007 FIFA Women's World Cup
6.00pm (7.00pm local time)
Thursday 17 November 2005
Everton full-back Rachel Unitt is in line to win her 50th international cap when England face Holland in the third of their 2007 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
Hope Powell’s team are set to meet the Dutch at FC Zwolle next Thursday, when Unitt is hoping to make her landmark appearance.
Since making her senior England debut against France in September 2000, the former Wolves and Fulham player has hardly missed a match.
Though she is still just 23, Unitt now has more caps than any other current England international apart from Arsenal winger Rachel Yankey.
“The last five years have flown by,” said Unitt, “but at 23 it sounds mad to be one of the most experienced players in the squad!
“If selected next week though, it will be a great thrill to get my 50th cap and it will also be a great game to get such an honour in.
“We’ve come through our first two World Cup qualifiers quite comfortably, but this one will be our biggest and toughest match since Women’s Euro 2005.”
After beating Austria 4-1 in the first of their qualifiers, England won by a record 13-0 scoreline against Hungary to put themselves top of Group 5.
They are ahead of Holland only on goal difference, however, since the Dutch have beaten group favourites France before winning in Austria.
Along with the French, they pose the biggest threat to England reaching the 2007 World Cup finals in China.
“Holland are a good side, especially defensively,” said Unitt, who 14 months ago scored her first England goal in a 1-0 win against the Dutch in Tuitjenhorn.
“They get lots of players behind the ball and they are hard to break down, but our confidence will be high after scoring so many goals against Hungary.
“I didn’t get on the scoresheet myself in that game, but if I’m in the side next week it would be great to celebrate my 50th cap with a goal.”
The game in Zwolle will be the last Group 5 match played in 2005, following which England will re-start the qualifiers with a home game against France in March.
“Winning in Holland would be a great way to go into the group’s winter break,” said Unitt. “It would put us in the driving seat in terms of qualifying for the finals.”