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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
England's Banks calls time
Arsenal's Angela Banks - picture supplied by www.europeanwomenssoccer.com
Fear of flying influenced Banks' decision
By BBC Sport Online's Tony Leighton

Angela Banks has quit international football because she is afraid flying and wants to concentrate on her Arsenal career.

"There are a growing number of demands on a player's time with England and I feel that I am not giving my full focus to my international career," Banks said.

"I have a number of personal commitments and also I really do not like flying, which is becoming more of a problem with England playing more away games and in tournaments.

"I want to concentrate on my club career with Arsenal and it wouldn't be fair on England with me worrying about the flight.

"I've not achieved everything I wanted to at international level and some people may say this is a difficult time to take a break.

"But I feel I wouldn't be giving my full focus to England if I was to carry on."

Her decision represents a major blow to England coach Hope Powell, who on Thursday named the national squad for the 23 July friendly against Nigeria at Norwich City's Carrow Road.

Powell has already lost England's most influential player, striker Kelly Smith, who has been ruled out with a cruciate knee ligaments injury.

The England coach, who is preparing for the World Cup qualification play-offs, is hoping to fill the breach by drafting in Fulham striker Kristy Moore - if she is eligible.

Moore, who has an English mother, represented her native Australia in training matches during 1997 but it is as yet undetermined whether these were officially recognised by Fifa.


England squad: Pauline Cope (Charlton Athletic), Leanne Hall (Leeds United), Rachel Brown (University of Pittsburgh), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Kirsty Pealling (Arsenal), Rachel McArthur (Fulham), Faye White (Arsenal), Mary Phillip (Fulham), Rachel Unitt (Fulham), Julie Fletcher (Arsenal), Leanne Champ (Arsenal), Karen Burke (Doncaster Belles), Kristy Moore (Fulham), Katie Chapman (Fulham), Fara Williams (Charlton Athletic), Vicky Exley (Doncaster Belles), Samantha Britton (Leeds United), Carly Hunt (Doncaster Belles), Rachel Yankey (Fulham), Tara Proctor (Charlton Athletic), Karen Walker (Doncaster Belles), Amanda Barr (Everton), Una Nwajei (Fulham), Jody Handley (Doncaster Belles).

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