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banner Monday, 11 June, 2001, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
England name Euro squad
Kelly Smith challenges Portugal's Ana Gomes
Smith's recovery from injury is great news for England
By BBC Sport Online's women's football correspondent Tony Leighton

USA based star player Kelly Smith has given the England women's team a massive boost by declaring herself fit for the European Championships finals, which are set to take place in Germany during June 23rd - July 7th.

The 22-year-old Philadelphia Charge striker, rated one of the top players in the newly-formed American professional women's soccer league, has been out of action for almost a month due to a stress fracture of the ankle.

I feel that the balance in the squad I've selected is the best we could have had
  Hope Powell

But relieved England coach Hope Powell, naming her 20-player squad for the finals, confirmed: "Kelly has been given the all-clear and I'm very pleased about that.

"She's an important member of the squad, a player who brings a lot of confidence to the team, and her colleagues recognise that.

"Several of the players have asked me if Kelly will be fit for the finals, which shows how highly she's thought of within the squad."

Busy schedule

Powell may have a problem in persuading Philadelphia officials to release Smith in time for her to meet up with the rest of the squad on Friday.

The striker has also been pencilled in to make her WUSA return for the Charge.

But the England coach is determined to have Smith flown back to England in order to go through the team's full pre-tournament training schedule.

"I'll be talking to Kelly's club manager and insisting that Kelly gets over here on time," she said.

Katie Chapman and Angela Banks celebrate
Chapman and Banks are both named in the squad

"We've got a lot of work to get through in those last seven days before the finals start, and it's vital that every member of the squad is involved."

Smith is one of five strikers named in an England squad which contains no surprises.

Powell resisted the temptation to draft in untried youngsters, though there are two teenagers in the squad.

Fulham's Katie Chapman and Everton's Rachel Unitt, however, have 13 caps between them and both have been given shirt numbers in the first 11.

Powell said: "I feel that the balance in the squad I've selected is the best we could have had. I did consider one or two alternatives, but I decided to go for the settled squad we've had for a little while now and I'm happy with the blend we've got."

England squad for Euro 2001:

Pauline Cope (Charlton Athletic), Danielle Murphy (University of Florida), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Becky Easton (Doncaster Belles), Maureen Marley (Everton), Katie Chapman (Fulham), Karen Burke (Doncaster Belles), Tara Proctor (Charlton Athletic), Kelly Smith (Philadelphia Charge), Angela Banks (Arsenal), Sue Smith (Tranmere Rovers), Faye White (Arsenal), Leanne Hall (Doncaster Belles), Julie Fletcher (Charlton Athletic), Samantha Britton (Everton), Marieanne Spacey (Arsenal), Rachel Yankey (Fulham), Karen Walker (Doncaster Belles), Vicky Exley (Doncaster Belles), Rachel Brown (University of Pittsburgh).

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See also:

31 Oct 00 |  Football
England progressing well
28 Nov 00 |  Football
England await European finals
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