Houghton-le-Spring teenager Poppy Pattinson is hoping that another England call can help her fulfil her dream of one day becoming a full international.
The 16-year-old former Kepier school pupil was rewarded for her form with Sunderland Ladies with yet another Under-17 squad call-up.
She was selected in a provisional squad by manager John Griffiths, but made the final cut of 18 to play in the UEFA European Women’s Under-17s Championship elite qualifying round games against Poland, Italy and Germany next week.
“I was delighted to be called up again,” said Poppy.
“It is tough to get selected these days because the sport is so popular.
“There are so many girls playing, especially at my age group, which makes things difficult.
“But I want to be involved in the full England squad so this is a step in the right direction for me.”
Poppy is aiming to follow in the footsteps of senior captain Steph Houghton, as she has been awarded another call up for the young Lionesses.
Like Houghton, Pattinson is from the North-East and plays for Sunderland Ladies, a club which is very close to the heart of Houghton, as she spent five years there before leaving to join Leeds United, Arsenal then Manchester City.
However, the comparisons between the two do not end at their North-East roots.
“She played for Sunderland and plays my position, well, before she moved to centre-back. She is a player I really look up to,” said left-back Poppy.
“I play left full-back. Left full-back for England anyway. For Sunderland I play left wing and it’s a bit more attacking.
“Demi Stokes is another player I look up to as well. She is from around here and plays left-back too. To get close to achieving what those two have would be big for me.”
The Under-17s face Poland tomorrow and Germany on Monday, with both of these games being hosted by AFC Telford, before their final qualifying game against Italy at St George’s Park on Thursday, March 30.
“I love it,” she said of her time away with England.
“It is the right environment for me to learn and grow as a player.
“If I can make a career out of this I will have to get used to travelling.
“I’m used to it now having been to Italy, Spain and Lithuania recently. I do really enjoy it.”