Mark Sampson announces 23-player squad for crunch qualifiers

Tuesday 03 Jun 2014
Fran Kirby becomes the first FA WSL2 player to be named in the senior squad
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Mark Sampson has named his final 23-player squad for England Women’s two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

England take on Belarus and Ukraine this month as part of their FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

Reading forward Fran Kirby becomes the first FA WSL2 player to be named in the senior squad since the division launched in April.

Notts County duo Jess Clarke and Dunia Susi have kept their places in the squad following their inclusion against Ukraine last month and Manchester City’s Karen Bardsley returns after injury.

“I am really excited with this group. There is a real sense of positivity"

Mark Sampson

 


England head coach Mark Sampson said: “I am really excited with this group.  There is a real sense of positivity which, going into two difficult away matches, will be very important to help us perform to our maximum.

“We have a number of players really at the top of their game including Fran Kirby.  She is a player with great potential who is really enjoying her football at the moment and playing very well.  Having been involved in our age group squads we know she is a good person, she fits in with our philosophy and has fantastic technical ability, good football intelligence and a great work ethic.

“With two games in short space of time plus the challenge of being on the road for a prolonged period we will need every player to contribute positively on and off the pitch if we are to be at our best."

Fran Kirby: “I was quite surprised to be included in the long squad and even more so now, and I’m really pleased to be part of the squad.

“It’s great that Mark and his team are looking at WSL2 and coming to watch games. The league is of a high standard and we’ve been pushing WSL1 teams when we’ve been playing them in the Continental Cup.

“I’m really looking forward to joining up with the squad. I did a training session with the senior squad in La Manga in January and I think it helped to drive me on this season and get the goals I’ve been scoring.”

The first match against Belarus takes place on Saturday 14 June at Minsk’s Traktor Stadium (KO 15:00 BST). England will then travel to Ukraine, where they play at Arena Lviv on Thursday 19 June (KO 16:00 BST).

England are unbeaten so far in the campaign, winning six out of six games so far without conceding any goals.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers

Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Rachel Brown-Finnis (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal)

Defenders

Sophie Bradley (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Liverpool), Alex Greenwood (Everton), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (University of South Florida)

Midfielders

Laura Bassett (Chelsea), Karen Carney (Birmingham), Jade Moore (Birmingham), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Liverpool)

Forwards

Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Jess Clarke (Notts County), Dunia Susi (Notts County), Natasha Dowie (Liverpool), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Reading), Lianne Sanderson (Boston Breakers), Kelly Smith (Arsenal)


By FA Staff