Arsenal Ladies star “surprised and honoured” by England call-up

Danielle Carter, Arsenal Ladies

Danielle Carter, Arsenal Ladies - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Arsenal Ladies striker Danielle Carter admits her selection for the senior England squad came as something of a shock.

Carter’s prolific scoring streak during August and early September, when she netted seven times in six games, has earned her a place in the national squad for this week’s World Cup qualifiers.

The 20-year-old joins five of her Gunners team-mates – Steph Houghton, Alex Scott, Jordan Nobbs, Rachel Yankey and Ellen White – in the party to face Belarus and then Turkey.

Carter is also familiar with caretaker coach Brent Hills, who was placed in charge after long-serving England boss Hope Powell was sacked last month.

“I’ve been with Brent for the Under-23 team, so it’ll be interesting to see what he’s like with the seniors and interesting to see who actually gets the job,” she told the Gazette.

“Obviously I play with five of the other players in the squad, so hopefully they can help me settle in, and I’ve played against all the other girls as well, so it’ll be nice to be together as a team.

“It’s everyone’s dream when they’re growing up to play for England’s senior side, but I certainly didn’t expect the call-up. I was surprised, but honoured and excited at the same time.

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“Hopefully when I go away with them I can continue to play well and catch Brent’s eye.”

England face Belarus in Bournemouth on Saturday and then head along the coast to meet Turkey at Portsmouth five days later.

And Carter’s international call-up will help her to maintain focus as the Gunners, who finish their Women’s Super League campaign at Everton on September 29, contemplate the loss of their title.

Arsenal ended their recent barren run in front of goal with a 2-0 victory at home to Birmingham City on Sunday, but that was not enough to lift them above third place in the table.

Bristol Academy’s 4-3 win at Doncaster Rovers Belles, after overturning a 3-0 deficit – coupled with Arsenal’s three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player – means that the Gunners are now unable to complete a hat-trick of championships.

However, Carter made it clear that there is no question of easing off at Everton, or in the Continental Cup final against Lincoln the following week.

“We still want to win our last game despite anything else that goes on,” added Carter. “Hopefully we can make sure we do that.

“We’ve got the Continental Cup final coming up and then the Champions League to think about, so although the season hasn’t been what we’re used to, in terms of the league, we’ve still achieved so much.

“Now we’ve just got to look forward – there are still big things for us to achieve, and hopefully next season we can perform a bit better in the league as well.”