Sunderland keeper put on standby for World Cup qualifier

Rachael Laws.
Rachael Laws.
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SUNDERLAND Ladies boss Mick Mulhern says goalkeeper Rachael Laws has earned international recognition because she is “in the form of her life”.

Laws has been placed on standby for the England senior team’s World Cup qualifier against Wales a week on Thursday.

Having previously played at England U23 level, this is the first time that Laws has been linked with the senior.

“Rachael’s been in the England system before but being on the fringes of the senior squad is very special,” said Mulhern.

“She is having a very, very good season and it’s very rewarding for her to have this recognition.

“We’re at the top of the division and Rachael has played a big part of that, with plenty of clean sheets. She’s in the form of her life and we hope she goes from strength to strength.”

The 23-year-old admitted she was surprised by the news.

“I was very shocked. I didn’t expect it at all,” she said.

“The England senior team have some very good, established goalkeepers so I was really pleased to find myself on the standby list.

“I was involved in the England U23 set up a little while ago and to potentially have the opportunity to step up to senior international football is very exciting.

“I think my Mam was even more excited than I was! My mam and step-dad are really pleased and proud of me because I think they know how hard I have worked over the last year and this is the biggest reward I could have hoped for.”

The England squad already has a strong Sunderland connection with five former players - Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Jordan Nobbs, Carly Telford and Demi Stokes - named in the squad.

“If I did get called up, I would be nervous but it is great that I know so many of the players already from Sunderland and also from my loan spell with Liverpool.

“I always set myself the target of a clean sheet in every game and I am pleased to have had a few this season.

“We are all working really hard towards achieving our target of promotion to FA WSL1 but being on standby for the England seniors is a nice mid-season boost for me and will give me extra reason to keep up the hard work.”