England have announced their squad ahead of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, beginning on June 26.Coach Hope Powell has included Arsenal defender Faye White in her 21-woman squad for the event, despite the fact the England captain has not played since injuring an ankle in April.
Powell said White’s rehabilitation is progressing well and said she was pleased with the quality at her disposal.
“I think, arguably, it’s probably strongest squad we’ve had in terms of depth, which is really, really encouraging,” Powell said.
“So I’m pleased, everybody’s fit and healthy. It’s quite nice to have everybody available.”
“We know this year with Faye (White), she’s been in intensive rehab, she’ll be okay for us. There’s been a few little wobbles but generally I think this is our strongest squad ever.”
“The ambition is to get out of the group, number one. You then look at what do we really want to achieve.”
“Obviously we want to top the group. With the expectation that Germany will top their group, if we top our group and they top their group we avoid each other.”
England striker Rachel Yankey agrees with Powell’s assessment that the hosts are favourites for the tournament.
“It’s got to be Germany. I don’t think anybody would go into a tournament without thinking that Germany have a realistic chance of winning it,” Yankey said.
“America, Brazil; they’re all big teams that will be looking to be favourites to win the World Cup. We know we’re underdogs and we’re not going to be favourites but we’re just happy to quietly try and sneak through.”
“I’ve never won anything internationally so it would be lovely to win a trophy but I wouldn’t get ahead of myself and know that it’s going to be extremely difficult.”
“We’re not one of the favourites at this tournament and there are a lot of good teams in it and we’ll do the best that we can. I’ll just be proud to go out there and play, and for us to perform as well as we can.”
Full squad: K Bardsley (New Jersey Sky Blue), R Brown (Everton), S Chamberlain (Bristol Academy), S Bradley (Lincoln Ladies), C Rafferty (Chelsea), A Scott (Boston Breakers), C Stoney (Lincoln Ladies), D Susi (Birmingham), R Unitt (Everton), F White (Arsenal), A Asante (New Jersey Sky Blue), L Bassett (Birmingham), J Clarke (Lincoln Ladies), S Houghton (Arsenal), J Scott (Everton), F Williams (Everton), R Yankey (Arsenal), E Aluko (New Jersey Sky Blue), K Carney (Birmingham), K Smith (Boston Breakers), E White (Arsenal)