Sampson targets World Cup glory

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Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Head coach Mark Sampson set England Women the target of winning the World Cup after naming his 23-player squad for the upcoming tournament in Canada.

He left out several contributors to the qualifying campaign, most notably the Liverpool pair of striker Natasha Dowie and defender Gemma Bonner, along with Manchester City left-back Demi Stokes.

There was strong competition particularly among his strikers, and Sampson could not find space for Dowie as he selected six frontline players in Eni Aluko, Toni Duggan, Jodie Taylor, Fran Kirby, Lianne Sanderson and Ellen White.

Sampson said on the Football Association website: “This is a hugely exciting time for all the staff and players.

“We’re ranked sixth in the world, we are a good team and we’ve got some exceptional players. We’ve got a very compact, resolute unit and we’ve got a real togetherness in the group so we’ll certainly be a difficult opponent for anyone in Canada.

“I think as a group of staff we’re very clear about the direction we want to take the team in during the tournament and hopefully the players can pull together.

“With this group in particular we have a large number of players who have performed very well and contributed to get this team to where it is now.

“The ambition is to go to Canada and win the competition but we’ve got to treat every game like a final.”

England captain Steph Houghton said: “We’ve all worked so hard to get here. We can’t wait to get started.”

There are eight World Cup newcomers in the squad, namely Lucy Bronze, Duggan, Kirby, Alex Greenwood, Jade Moore, vice-captain Jordan Nobbs, Jo Potter and Taylor.

However contrastingly eight players will be competing at a World Cup for the third time, in Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Scott, former captain Casey Stoney, Jill Scott, Fara Williams, Aluko, Karen Carney and Katie Chapman.

Mother-of-two Chapman is included after being recently recalled from the international wilderness by Sampson, having been frozen out, as Sanderson also was, after a breakdown in her relationship with former boss Hope Powell.

England begin their campaign against France in Moncton on June 9, before tackling Mexico in the same city four days later and ending their Group F campaign in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium against Colombia on June 17.

Sampson’s previously stated aim was to reach at least the semi-finals, which is further than England Women, three times quarter-finalists, have ever gone before.

Squad: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal), Carly Telford (Notts County); Alex Scott (Arsenal), Laura Bassett (Notts County), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Alex Greenwood (Notts County), Casey Stoney (Arsenal); Fara Williams (Liverpool), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Karen Carney (Birmingham), Jade Moore (Birmingham), Katie Chapman (Chelsea), Jo Potter (Birmingham); Eni Aluko (Chelsea), Lianne Sanderson (Arsenal), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Reading), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns), Ellen White (Notts County).

Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by The News Editor

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