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Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 11:01 UK

Rachel Yankey to win 100th England cap against Turkey

By Tony Leighton

Rachel Yankey
Yankey has scored 12 goals in her 99 England appearances

Rachel Yankey is poised to win her 100th England cap in Thursday's Women's World Cup qualifier against Turkey at Walsall's Banks's Stadium (1900 BST).

The 30-year-old winger will become only the second player - after ex-Doncaster Belles defender Gill Coultard - to reach the century mark for England.

Yankey, who was awarded the MBE in 2006 and has collected numerous honours with Arsenal, said: "It will be amazing.

"It will be right up there with the biggest highlights of my career."

She added: "On Thursday I won't be thinking of my 100th cap, I'll be concentrating on helping England to win a game that can take us closer to the World Cup finals.

"It will probably mean more to me when I've finished playing."

Victory would confirm England coach Hope Powell's team as Group Five winners and earn a top seeding for the qualifying play-offs that all European teams - host nation Germany apart - must get through to reach the 2011 finals.


Having beaten Turkey 3-0 away with a weakened team, another England win will be expected even with key players Kelly Smith and Karen Carney unavailable.

But Powell stated: "Turkey have improved a lot and I think it will be a more difficult game for us than it was over there.

"We're expected to win but we have to manage those expectations - and if it does prove a tougher task than last time that will hopefully help us raise our game."

Yankey did not play in Turkey in November having failed to regain her place in the squad following her surprise omission from the 2009 European Championship finals.

She was recalled by Powell for February's Cyprus Cup and has since re-established herself in the starting line-up.

"It was a shock to be left out for the Euro finals," commented Yankey. "At one point I thought I might not get picked again, but I never thought I wasn't good enough.

"It was Hope's decision to leave me out and I respect that, but I've never felt I had anything to prove and now I want to stay in the team for as long as I can.

"I loved playing in the 2007 World Cup finals in China and hopefully I'll be involved again if we reach Germany 2011."

England squad: Brown (Everton), Chamberlain (Chelsea), Telford (Unattached), Bassett (Unattached), Bradley (Unattached), Johnson (Everton), Rafferty (Chelsea), A. Scott (Boston Breakers), Stoney (Chelsea), Susi (Chelsea), Unitt (Everton), F. White (Arsenal), Buet (Chelsea), Chapman (Chicago Red Stars), Houghton (Unattached), J. Scott (Everton), Williams (Everton), Aluko (Atlanta Beat), Clarke (Unattached) Smith (Unattached), E. White (Arsenal), Yankey (Arsenal).

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