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Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 16:15 UK

England drop Yankey for Euro 2009

By Tony Leighton

Rachel Yankey
Yankey is England's most-capped current player

England coach Hope Powell has sprung a surprise by leaving experienced winger Rachel Yankey, 29, out of her 22-player squad for Euro 2009.

Jess Clarke and Dani Buet, both 20, will make the trip to Finland, but Yankey, who has 89 caps, misses out.

"Rachel hasn't played well in the last year," said Powell, who has included captain Faye White and star striker Kelly Smith despite injury concerns.

Powell's side begin their campaign against Italy on 25 August.

They will go on to face Russia and Sweden in Group C.

We must respect all the teams we are up against and make sure our preparations are right

England coach Hope Powell

Powell admitted that selecting the injury-plagued White was a gamble, although she was more upbeat about Smith's fitness.

Ongoing knee problems have seen Smith rarely play a full 90 minutes for her American club team Boston Breakers in recent matches.

Arsenal defender White has seen little action in the last 12 months, also because of a knee injury.

Powell said: "Kelly's knee is doing better - she is on track and she feels good, although she will always get a bit of stiffness in the knee.

"We have to be mindful of her and Faye, but Faye's sheer presence and the fact that she always gives 110% is important - those are the sort of players you want.

606: DEBATE
Sparkle

"It's a gamble (selecting White), but it's one I'm prepared to take and I know she won't let me down."

In a squad whose average age is 25 and the caps per player averages out at 40, Powell will be taking several rookies to Finland.

America based goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, Leeds winger Clarke and Chelsea midfielder Buet have only a handful of caps between them.

"Dan and Jess are both a little bit raw," said Powell.

Powell defends Yankey Euro omission

"But that's sometimes not a bad thing and I think they'll bring something we need to the squad.

"We've been monitoring Karen for a time and the reports from her club have been very good. She has developed physically and she has a great presence."

Powell's team should go into the tournament with confidence having lost only one of their last 11 games, but the coach is remaining cautious.

"We had a really good run before Euro 2005 but then finished bottom of the group," said Powell.

"Sweden are the clear favourites to get out of the group, but we must respect all the teams we are up against and make sure our preparations are right."


England squad: Brown (Everton), Chamberlain (Chelsea), Bardsley (New York Sky Blue), A. Scott (Boston Breakers), Stoney (Chelsea), Johnson (Everton), Asante (New York Sky Blue), White (Arsenal), Unitt (Everton), Bassett (Arsenal), Williams (Everton), Carney (Chicago Red Stars), Chapman (Arsenal), J. Scott (Everton), S. Smith (Leeds Carnegie), Westwood (Everton), Buet (Chelsea), Clarke (Leeds Carnegie), K. Smith (Boston Breakers), Aluko (St Louis Athletica), Handley (Everton), Sanderson (Chelsea).



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see also
England 1-0 Denmark
22 Jul 09 |  Women
England women 0-2 Iceland women
17 Jul 09 |  Women
England climb to ninth in world
07 Jul 09 |  Women
Powell may leave England position
04 Jun 09 |  Women
England Women awarded contracts
14 May 09 |  Women
Draw sees England reach Euro 2009
02 Oct 08 |  Women


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