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Arsenal's Rachel Yankey back in England's women squad

By Tony Leighton

Arsenal star Rachel Yankey has played 89 times for England
Arsenal star Rachel Yankey has played 89 times for England

Arsenal winger Rachel Yankey is back in the England fold after her shock omission from the squad for last year's European Championship finals.

England's most-capped current international was also left out of the subsequent World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Turkey.

But national coach Hope Powell has recalled the 30-year-old left winger for the Cyprus Cup in late February.

Yankey will be in line to win her 90th cap as England defend the trophy.

"It's good to be back," said Yankey, "but there will be lots of players fighting for places and I'll be taking nothing for granted.

"Last season was very up and down for me. I had a number of niggling injuries, but towards the end of the season I was playing well.

"I felt I was back to my old self, so it came as a shock when Hope told me I was being left out of the squad for the Euro finals.

606: DEBATE

"Tony Gervaise (Arsenal's manager) was amazed I wasn't in the squad, but he gave me a few weeks off to chill out.

"I'm enjoying playing for Arsenal this season and hopefully I can do well enough with England to be involved in the qualifying campaign for the World Cup."

Powell stated: "I didn't feel that Rachel did well enough last year to warrant a place in the Euro squad.

"But she's played well for Arsenal this season and we need competition for places in a very important year for us.

"We raised the bar last year by reaching the Euro 2009 final, and this year we have to top our World Cup qualifying group."

England will return to World Cup duty with qualifiers at home to Austria and Spain in late March and early April.

Meanwhile Powell's team will face South Africa, Canada and Switzerland in their group games at the Cyprus Cup.

England won the tournament last year with a 3-1 victory over Canada in the final.


England squad: Karen Bardsley (New Jersey Sky Blue), Rachel Brown (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Chelsea), Alex Scott (Boston Breakers), Dunia Susi (Chelsea), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Casey Stoney (Chelsea), Faye White (Arsenal), Laura Bassett (Leeds Carnegie), Lindsay Johnson (Everton), Jill Scott (Everton), Fara Williams (Everton), Emily Westwood (Everton) Katie Chapman (Arsenal) Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers), Dani Buet (Chelsea), Sue Smith (Leeds Carnegie), Lianne Sanderson (Chelsea) Eniola Aluko (Saint Louis Athletica), Rachel Yankey (Arsenal), Jessica Clarke (Leeds Carnegie), Jody Handley (Everton).



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see also
Powell open to men's coaching job
10 Dec 09 |  Women
England coach Powell looks back on 2009
12 Dec 09 |  Football
Everton & Arsenal progress in Cup
07 Feb 10 |  Women


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