JORDAN NOBBS is set to follow in her father’s footsteps after she was named in the England Women’s squad for next month’s friendly with Sweden at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park.
Nobbs is one of six North-East players selected in Mark Sampson’s 32-strong long list for the game on Sunday, August 3, which will act as a warm-up for England’s crucial World Cup qualifier with Wales three weeks later.
The County Durham striker’s father, Keith, made 326 appearances for Hartlepool between 1985-93, and is still employed as one of the League Two club’s community coaches.
Nobbs’ place in next month’s squad was in doubt when she was forced to miss the start of the Women’s Super League season with a serious back injury.
However, the Arsenal forward came off the bench during her club side’s 3-0 WSL Continental Cup win over Chelsea on Sunday, and should be back to full fitness by the time she links up with the rest of the national squad.
Nobbs will be joined by South Hetton’s Steph Houghton, who has been England’s permanent skipper since the start of the season, goalkeeper Carly Telford, defenders Demi Stokes and Lucy Bronze, and midfielder Jill Scott, all of whom started their careers with Sunderland.
Sweden are ranked fifth in the world, and should provide stiff competition as England prepare for their World Cup qualifier in Wales on August 21, a match that will guarantee their place in next summer’s World Cup in Canada provided they claim at least a point.
“It’s great to have Jordan and Claire (Rafferty) back in the squad after their injuries,” said Sampson. “Jordan had a fantastic Cyprus Cup and brings a real energy to the group. On the pitch, you can see her enthusiasm for the game bursting through, which is a real help to the team.
“We are looking forward to the Sweden match, it’s the next game on the journey so the challenge is to be better than we were last time out, and this time against really world-class opposition.
“We will be playing in front of our own supporters, which is something we love, so the whole group is really going to give everything to put on a positive performance for them and try out best to get the win.”
Tickets for the game in Hartlepool are on sale now, priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £10 and group booking discounts apply.
Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal), Rachel Brown-Finnis (Everton), Carly Telford (Notts County)
Defenders: Gemma Bonner (Liverpool), Sophie Bradley (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Liverpool), Alex Greenwood (Everton), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (University of South Florida), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea)
Midfielders: Anita Asante (LdB Malmo), Laura Bassett (Chelsea), Jade Moore (Birmingham), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Liverpool), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal)
Forwards: Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Dunia Susi (Notts County), Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Jess Clarke (Notts County), Gemma Davison (Liverpool), Natasha Dowie (Liverpool), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Reading), Lianne Sanderson (Boston Breakers), Kelly Smith (Arsenal), Jodie Taylor (Washington Spirit), Danielle Carter (Arsenal)