After appearing 46 times for England at youth level, Danielle Carter feels she is ready to make the step up to the senior team.
The 22-year-old made her debut for the U17s in September 2008 and has since represented her country at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-23 level.
Carter has been included in Mark Sampson’s senior squad for the opening Euro 2017 qualifier - away against Estonia on Monday 21 September.
Estonia v England
UEFA Women's Euro 2017
5pm BST, Monday 21 September
A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn
And the Arsenal forward is itching for her first taste of the big time.
She said: “It’s a dream for any player to represent their country.
“I’ve done it at every age group but this is the one team I’ve not got a cap for yet. I want to get that first cap under my belt and then hopefully build on that.
“I want to get as many caps as I can, but I also want medals and trophies. I’ve managed it at club level and now I want to do it at international level.”
Carter continued: “I’ve played a lot of games in the younger age groups and I think I’m developing all the time. I feel that I’m ready to make that step up if called upon.
“It’s not going to be easy. It never is easy to be selected for your country, and even more so now with more and more players becoming professional and putting in performances with their clubs.
“I’ve just got to work as hard as I can to hopefully give Mark and the staff something to think about.”
Carter is one of only two Arsenal players in the current England squad, alongside Casey Stoney.
However, Gilly Flaherty, Ellen White and captain Steph Houghton are former club mates, while Mary Earps, Alex Greenwood, Gemma Davison and Isobel Christiansen all played with Carter for the U23s.
The familiarity with the players has helped her feel at home in what is just her second senior call-up.
She said: “The girls have really welcomed me. It‘s nice to be in amongst it after the success they had in the summer and everyone has tried to incorporate me into the group.
“Their success in Canada was massive. I was watching them from home and now I want to be a part of that success.”
As Carter alluded to, she has helped Arsenal win The FA WSL title, The FA Women’s Cup and The FA WSL Continental Cup in recent seasons – and was even a part of Team GB that won gold at the World University Games in 2013.
Although she has not been able to replicate that impressive medal haul with England so far, she has seen enough from her new international team-mates to predict a successful few years ahead.
Carter added: “This squad has every right to be confident.
“It was a massive thing they achieved in the summer, coming third at a World Cup. They shocked a lot of people. I think it’s only right that the girls should be confident going into this new campaign.
“They were the best in Europe after the World Cup. We need to keep that winning mentality, push on and prove that fact at the Euros.
“It won’t be easy, but if we can work on the success we had in the summer then I think we are definitely going in the right direction to get gold in 2017.”
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