Sunderland’s Beth Mead relishes debut England challenge

Beth Mead
Beth Mead
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Beth Mead is looking forward to the “challenge” of her first real taste of England action.

The Sunderland striker is in Mark Sampson’s sqaud for the trip to China which gets under way today.

England’s party, which also includes Lady Black Cats keeper, Rachael Laws, fly out tonight to the Far East, where they will have internationals against Australia on Friday and China the following Tuesday.

It is a huge opportunity for both players to stake claims for a place in England’s squad against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Sunday, November 29 in the Euro 2017 qualifying match.

Mead was controversially overlooked for last month’s Euro tie in Estonia though the 20-year-old did get invited to train with the squad at St George’s Park ahead of the tie in Tallinn.

“I knew a lot of the girls from having played against them in the Women’s Super League,” she said. “I did a couple of sessions with them.

“I don’t think the manager wanted to throw me in at the deep end [with selection in the squad to face Estonia].

“I think he wanted to see how I handled being with them.

“It was obviously a different standard to what I’d been used to but I thought I held my own.

“I enjoyed it and now I can’t wait for this new challenge and seeing what international football is all about.”

The England squad does not include any players from Arsenal or Notts County, who are playing in next month’s Continental Tyres Cup final.

But the forward battle looks intense with Chapman selected Chelsea trio Eni Aluko, Gemma Davison and Fran Kirby, plus the USA-based duo Lianne Sanderson and Jodie Taylor, both from Portland Thorns.

“I’m going to go and try to enjoy it and will look to show that I’m capable of paying at this level,” said Mead.

“I think it’s a realistic aim to try to push my way into the Euro squad and I’ll be doing everything I can to achieve that.”