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Football: Casey Stoney named as new England captain
Casey Stoney has been appointed the new captain of the England Women’s team.
The 30-year-old will inherit the armband from Faye White, following White’s announcement in April that she is expecting her first child.
Stoney, who recently earned her 100th international cap, had previously been vice captain and has marshalled England on a number of occasions in White’s absence. She has donned the armband in four of England’s first five Euro 2013 qualifiers and is in line to lead them again next month when Holland visit Salford City Stadium for a crucial qualifier.
“It was an amazing feeling when Hope [Powell, England’s National Coach] told me; a very proud day for me and my family,” Stoney said of being selected.
“I was quite emotional about it, because of what I’ve had to go through to get here. I never assumed anything. I was only ever the stand-in captain whenever Faye wasn’t available.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work, but Hope has backed me and stood by me over the years, so to come through those times and now be captain is fantastic for me. Hope believes in me and that’s the key thing.
“Captaining your country is the biggest honour you can get in football.”
Powell informed Stoney of her decision on Tuesday and she believes the centre back has all the qualities needed to lead her country.
“I’ve known Casey since she was about 15 or 16 and if I looked back then and to where she is now, England captain, you would never connect the two,” she began.
“But she has learned lessons along the way and made herself into the player and the leader that she is today.
“She didn’t kick a ball in the 2005 Euros, but she worked hard, got her head down and broke into the team.
“Casey is very much in the same mould as Faye,” continued Powell. “Very professional, she has a great attitude, she is not afraid to work at her game and she leads by example both on and off the pitch, so I’m delighted for her.
“She is an intelligent footballer, very bright, understands the game and she is great to have around, so, for me, she is the right choice.”
Stoney first assignment as the new skipper will be a must-win UEFA Euro 2013 qualifier against Holland at Salford City Stadium on Sunday 17 June.
The Dutch currently top Group 6 with England five points behind in second place, albeit with a game in hand. If Holland win they will automatic qualify for next summer’s Euro Finals and will leave England facing a two-legged play-off in October.
“We all know the importance of the game,” admitted Stoney. “We know we have got to win and we put ourselves in this position by dropping points against Serbia. Now we need to make amends.
“We are good enough to beat Holland. We have got to make sure we are on our game and we will probably have to produce our best performance of the season because they are a good side.
“But we know what we have got to do.”
Sportsister, The Women’s Sports Magazine