Steph ready to shine
by Ian Donabie
Wednesday, 28 July, 2010
Steph Houghton is relishing her chance with the Women's seniors again.
As England Women’s hope to secure a spot in the World Cup play-offs with victory over Turkey on Thursday night, there will be one squad member who will simply be pleased to be back in the senior set-up once again.
Now 22, Steph Houghton was quickly recognised as one of the bright young hopes of the international scene but having been hindered by two serious injuries over the past three seasons her progress took a serious knock.
But having recovered from a broken leg and cruciate ligament damage, the Leeds Carnegie midfielder has fought her way back to fitness and into Hope Powell’s England side.
“I broke my leg just before the  World Cup and that was hard to take because I knew I was going to be part of the squad,” says the Sunderland-born battler. “Whereas the second injury [cruciate ligament damage] I wasn’t in the squad. I had played in the  Cyprus Cup and I could have been included in the Euro squad but I tried not to think about it.
“It was disappointing but I wanted to be positive and I looked at it as the chance to get everything else stronger, get myself fitter and make myself more determined to get back into the England squad.”
With the help of her family, her club and the England set-up that goal has now been attained and her next target is helping the Three Lions qualify for the 2011 World Cup and being part of the squad that could go to Germany.
“I’m really excited [about the call-up]. I went to La Manga for the training camp [in February] but I didn’t get picked for the following Qualifiers which was understandable, but I’m just excited to get back in there and get amongst the girls and the best players in England and make sure that I don’t let myself down.”
There seems little chance of that being the case. Houghton has shown that obstacles are there to be overcome, and with commitment, determination and, of course, a good dose of ability, she has demonstrated what can be achieved, regardless of the setbacks.
“You’re always going to look back before you were injured and see how you played, and that’s understandable because you want to get back to your best. Hopefully [when the squad gets together] I’ll be able to show them a bit more of what I can do than I have been when I’ve been injured."
England's World Cup Qualifier against Turkey will be shown live on FATV. For further ticket information, click here.