Laura Coombs determined to grab her England chance in China

Wednesday 21 Oct 2015
Chelsea midfielder Laura Coombs has earned her first England call-up
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Laura Coombs has promised to show “no fear” if she is handed her England debut in China this week.

The Chelsea midfielder received her first call-up to Mark Sampson’s Lionesses squad for the CFA International Women’s Football Tournament after impressing in the Blues’ double-winning campaign.

She is part of the England team that will face China on Friday 23 October (9am BST kick-off) and Australia on Tuesday 27 October (8am GMT kick-off).

China v England

CFA International Women's Tournament
9am (BST), Friday 23 October
China

And Coombs, 24, has taken heart from Danielle Carter and Izzy Christiansen’s goalscoring debuts in Estonia last month.

She said: “Mark told me that over the next two matches he will only make changes if he feels the player he is bringing on will influence the game in a positive way, so if I do get a chance I will look at that as a good thing for me personally.

“It will give me the confidence to go out there with no fear and hopefully show what I can do.

“That’s what Dan and Izzy did in the last camp and they came away with goals between them.”

She continued: “I am so proud to be in this squad.

“I’m looking at this as though I’ve earned this chance. I’ve been involved in a few training sessions before but this is my first proper call-up.

Chelsea players and staff pose with the FA WSL 1 title

Chelsea players and staff pose with the FA WSL 1 title

“I thought I did OK and I was hoping that maybe it would get me somewhere, so I’m obviously delighted to be here.”

Coombs is one of eight Chelsea players in the squad.

Defender Hannah Blundell and midfielder Drew Spence are, like Coombs, first-time call-ups and the trio have been included alongside more senior club mates such as Claire Rafferty and Eniola Aluko.

And the heavy Blues contingent has helped Coombs settle in.

She said: “It makes it a lot easier to come into this environment. There are players in this squad that you obviously look up to and it could have been quite daunting coming in for the first time on your own.

“To stay in this squad is a dream for every player.”

Laura Coombs on her England aim

“But it’s great having the likes of Eni here. She’s a senior England player and a Chelsea team-mate so that has really helped me, Hannah and Drew.”

Coombs made 17 appearances for Chelsea this season as they clinched The FA WSL 1 and SSE Women’s FA Cup double – and also helped them progress to the last-16 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, where they will take on Wolfsburg.

She has earned England caps at U19s and Under-23s level, making 18 appearances in total, but now has her sights set on full-time involvement with the senior squad – with Euro 2017 the ultimate aim.

She said: “At the start of the season, getting into this squad wasn’t a realistic target for me because the World Cup was coming up and I felt there was already a settled group in place.

“But after watching the girls in Canada, every player wants to be a part of this squad. It’s a huge thing for me to be involved and I’ll be doing everything I can, and be asking as many questions as I can, to try and make sure I’m here a lot more.

England Women pose with their bronze medals

England celebrate winning World Cup bronze

“To stay in this squad would be a dream for every player. I’d be delighted if that’s the way it works out for me.

“I’ll work hard this week and over the course of next season to be more involved with England.”

Coombs added: “The Euros is a target for every player, the senior ones and the new players.

“Mark has shown that he will give young players a chance and I don’t see why more of us can’t push for our own chance between now and 2017.”

The Lionesses’ next home match is a Euro 2017 qualifier against Bosnia & Herzegovina at Bristol City FC on Sunday 29 November (3.30pm kick-off).

Tickets are on sale now priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £10 and group booking discounts apply.

Tickets can be purchased via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 01179 630 600.

By Glenn Lavery in Chongqing