04 June 2020

Football: Yankey set for record appearance for Three Lions

September 19, 2012

England face Croatia in tonight’s Euro 2013 qualifier and Rachel Yankey is set to make a record 120th appearance.

The 32-year-old Arsenal winger would overtake former captain Gill Coultard’s haul of caps in the must-win game.

A victory tonight for the Three Lions will secure qualification for the finals, ahead of group leaders Netherlands, who have already completed their fixtures.

Yankey made her international debut in 1997 in a 4-0 win over Scotland. Commenting on her achievement, she told BBC Sport: “Someone said to me that I could go down in history, but that’s something to think about once I’ve hung up my boots.”

She continued: “For now I feel exactly the same way about playing for England as I did when I was 17 – just let me get on the pitch and play.

“Going past Gill’s record would be amazing, but beating Croatia is more important and all I’m concerned about is helping us get three points.”

The talented star, who has scored 19 goals for her country, reclaimed her place in the England set up after Powell left her out of the squad for the Euro 2009 finals.

Hope Powell, England coach, said: “Credit to Rachel for the way she responded. She has been playing some of the best football of her career this season and it’s a fantastic achievement to have won all those caps.”

The buzz of the Olympics is still in the camp and Powell has warned her players against complacency.

“The Olympics were a fantastic journey for us and we didn’t want it to end,” she said. “But we have to pull ourselves away from that and start again.”

“But those kind of games can often be the most difficult if you don’t have the right mindset, so we’ll have to be totally focused to get the result we want.”

England are without Arsenal’s Kelly Smith and Ellen White, through injury and suspension respectively.

Holly Patel, Sportsister
The Women’s Sport Magazine

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