Local football legend Jill Scott has given her backing to two Sunderland players hoping to join her as England stars.
Scott is back home after reaching the milestone of 100 international caps on England’s tour to China, playing in the 1-0 success over Australia.
Rachael is a terrific talent and shot-stopper.
Sunderland duo Rachael Laws and Beth Mead were with England in the Far East but neither left the bench in the matches against China and Australia.
But Man City midfielder Scott believes their time will come.
“It was fantastic they were called up,” said the 28-year-old from Fulwell.
“I was with Rachael at Gateshead College a few years ago. She is a terrific talent and shot-stopper. She’s proved that in WSL1 and deserved her selection.
“Beth’s performances this season speak for themselves.
“She’s been outstanding in WSL1 and her hat-trick against Chelsea, who went on to win the title, shows how good she is.
“They need to keep working hard and performing and I’m sure they will go on to play (for England).”
Given England’s success in 2015, highlighted by their bronze medals at the World Cup in Canada, it will be difficult for Laws and Mead to break through.
There is fierce competition in Mark Sampson’s squad, particularly in goal and up front, though no England players come close to the scoring feats of Mead this year.
“Sometimes things don’t happen straight away,” said former Sunderland product Scott.
“I look back on my journey and I had upsets from time to time. But Rachael and Beth are great talents with great work ethics. I’m sure their debuts will come.”