Chelsea Women’s Bethany England has been named in the senior England squad for the first time for international matches against Belgium and Norway.
England has been rewarded for her fine form at club level by the Lionesses manager Phil Neville.
The forward is Chelsea’s top goalscorer from the 2018/19 season with 21 goals and has progressed through the international ranks to under-23 level.
On receiving her call-up news, England said: ‘I saw the email came through and it took a minute for it to sink in.
‘It was a nice feeling, I have been wanting this for a long time but at the same time I knew when the time was right it was going to happen. If it wasn’t going to happen then that’s how it was supposed to be.
‘I’m ecstatic to be called up to my first senior England camp, it's a proud moment for me and my family and I can’t wait to represent my country again.’
Emma Hayes is delighted for her forward to be named in the England squad and believes it has been a long time coming.
‘Super congrats to Beth, she has earned this opportunity. I know the fans feel she should have had it last year, but I understand in a World Cup year you don’t make too many changes.
‘it’s important for her to enjoy that, she’s worked hard to be in that position. It’s just the beginning so she just needs to keep doing what she is doing if she wants to keep progressing and everyone at the club is really proud of her.’
Fran Kirby, Millie Bright and Carly Telford have also received a call-up to the first squad since returning from the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer.
The Lionesses will travel to play Belgium on Thursday 29 August before facing Norway away on Tuesday 3 September.