Women's football: Jess Clarke backed for England success by Martha Harris


Last Updated: 06/05/14 10:22pm

Jess Clarke deserves her place in England squad, says Martha Harris

Notts County Ladies striker Jess Clarke has been tipped to shine on the international stage for England by former team-mate Martha Harris.

Clarke received an England call-up in place of Ellen White who was forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering a torn cruciate knee ligament during a pre-season friendly.

The 25-year-old has dazzled so far this term, notching seven goals in six appearances helping fire Notts County to the top of Super League and through to the last four of the FA Cup.

And Liverpool Ladies defender Harris, who played alongside Clarke last season when Notts County were known as Lincoln Ladies, insists the winger-turned- striker fully deserves her place in the England squad.

"Jess has been on fire this season," the PFA Women's Young Player of the Year told Sky Sports. "If you score in every game for your club there is no reason why you shouldn't get a call up for your country.

"From training with her last year she was always one of those players that you didn't want to come up against but at the same time you wanted to test yourself against.

"She's got really quick feet and is one of the fastest and most skilful players at Notts.

"I think she was a little bit disappointed about not playing as much as she would have liked to last year but if she keeps doing what I know she can do she will easily be in squads in the future."

In an interview with Sky Sports last month, England manager Mark Sampson revealed he was keen to give talented in-form players an opportunity to play for their country.

"The door is certainly open to anyone," he said. "You have to bear in mind as a national team manager there is only a limited pool to choose from and you need to ensure that every player feels like they are available.

"That is certainly the case for us. We've made it clear we want the right type of characters in the group, along with people with good ability who are playing well and are on form.

"I think if I'm a young player in England at the moment, I'd be really excited because I know that if I can play well and get a good run of form under my belt then there might be an opportunity for me to break into the national team.

"Young players as well as older more experienced players have that opportunity to come into the fold if they play well on a week-by-week basis for their club."