Derby shut-out caps Rachael’s great day

Rachael Laws.

Rachael Laws.

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RACHAEL Laws said her clean sheet in Sunderland Ladies’ 2-0 win over Durham last night was the perfect way to celebrate her England call-up.

She has been rewarded for an impressive campaign by being named in the squad for alreadty-qualified England’s final World Cup group tie against Montenegro in Petrovac on September 17

The 23-year-old told the Echo: “I first heard I was on the 30-strong long list last week, but it was only on the morning of the game that I found out I had made the final 23.

“I told my mother about it and she got a bit upset about it but, of course, we were both very, very pleased.

“I said to her that I wouldn’t be able to get too excited about it because I had the Durham game ahead of me on the night.

“So it was a heck of a day to get the call-up in the morning and then the victory on the night.

“It still hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will over the next few days.”

Laws was on standby for England’s last game, against Wales – a 4-0 win which guaranteed qualification for next year’s World Cup next year.

And now she hopes to impress as manager Mark Sampson takes the opportunity to experiment.

Laws and in-form Reading striker Fran Kirby have both been called up from WSL2 and the Sunderland goalkeeper said: “It’s great that Mark is looking outside the top flight.

“I’m glad about that because there are some excellent players in the division.

Laws, from Hebburn, is looking forward to the international meet-up and says the fact she knows several of the squad is bound to help her settle .

Another of the keepers in the squad is former Sunderland player Carly Telford and Laws said: “I was only young when she was playing at Sunderland, but I’ve been in the squad with her a few times.

“She was also someone I looked up to coming through.

“I also know a few of the Liverpool players, too, from my time there, and a few of the other ex-Sunderland players, so that’s going to be a really good thing for me.”

ENGLAND SQUAD: Rachael Laws (Sunderland), Becky Spencer (Birmingham City), Carly Telford (Notts County); Laura Bassett (Chelsea), Gemma Bonner (Liverpool), Lucy Bronze (Liverpool), Alex Greenwood (Everton), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Jemma Rose (Bristol Academy), Alex Scott (Arsenal); Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Fran Kirby (Reading), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Liverpool); Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Jess Clarke (Notts County), Natasha Dowie (Liverpool), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Lianne Sanderson (Boston Breakers), Jodie Taylor (Washington Spirit).