LONDON: Only two non-English players have made it into Hope Powell’s Team GB women’s football squad for London 2012 – the first occasion on which a British women’s team have competed at the summer Games writes CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE.
Speaking at Wembley, Powell insisted that she had selected players on merit for her 18-strong squad including just the Scottish duo of Ifeoma Dieke and Kim Little.
She said: “I didn’t feel any pressure to include players from Northern Ireland or Wales. I was tasked with picking the best squad of players and that’s what I’ve done. We had everyone looked at extensively. I took the associations out of the equation and it was just about trying to pick a squad of players that I felt would do the best job possible.”
England’s all-time leading scorer Kelly Smith made the cut after racing back to fitness from a stress fracture suffered back in March.
Powell added: “Narrowing my squad down to 18 was very, very tough because of the calibre of player we’ve got coming through now. This is a great chance for these players to be involved in something huge and it gives us a great platform to further raise the profile of the women’s game.”
The women’s football competition opens the Games as Great Britain’s first match is against New Zealand at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on July 25 – two days before the Opening Ceremony.
Squad: Eniola Aluko, Anita Asante, Karen Bardsley, Sophie Bradley, Rachel Brown, Karen Carney, Ifeoma Dieke, Stephanie Houghton, Kim Little, Claire Rafferty, Alex Scott, Jill Scott, Kelly Smith, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams, Rachel Williams, Ellen White, Rachel Yankey.
Reserves: Jess Clarke, Emma Higgins, Jane Ross, Dunia Susi.
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