Sunderland produce yet another England debutant

Tuesday 01 Apr 2014
Demi Stokes (right) in action against Canada

Demi Stokes is the latest in a long line of Sunderland alumni to have broken into the England Women's senior set-up.

The 22-year-old left-back, who made her debut against Norway in January, is one of six former Black Cats to have been called into the squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in Brighton.

A member of Mo Marley’s U19 panel that won the European Championship in 2009, it was Stokes’ education at the Wearsiders that guided her towards 24 England youth team caps.


England v Montenegro

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
Group 6 Qualifier
12.55pm, Saturday 5 April
Amex Stadium, Brighton & Hove Albion FC
Live on BBC Two



She may now be playing for the University of South Florida but the Three Lions newcomer credits Sunderland with helping her develop into a full international.

Stokes said: "Part of the reason I went to America was for the experience and to make me a better player because I’d be training every day, but I learnt so much at Sunderland.

"That club made me the player I am and I’m grateful for everything they have done for me. I definitely had some really special times there, as a lot of other players have had over the years."

She continued: "I didn't ever stop believing I could break into the seniors even though I was living miles away. I just believed that if I kept training hard and playing well someone would hopefully pick up on that and give me that chance.

"And after being in La Manga and Cyprus I now know I've got what it takes to do well with England."

You can read more from Stokes in Saturday's official matchday programme

Tickets are still on sale, priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children and concessions. A family ticket is available at £10 (two adults, two children).

Squad in full

Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal), Mary Earps (Bristol Academy), Carly Telford (Notts County)
Laura Bassett (Chelsea), Gemma Bonner (Liverpool), Sophie Bradley (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Liverpool), Alex Greenwood (Everton), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (University of South Florida), Casey Stoney (Arsenal)
Anita Asante (Malmo), Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Jade Moore (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Liverpool),
Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Natasha Dowie (Liverpool), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Lianne Sanderson (Boston Breakers), Kelly Smith (Arsenal), Ellen White (Notts County).

By Glenn Lavery