England manager Philip Neville has revealed his 23-player squad for this summer’s Women’s World Cup and it's fair to say Sunderland Ladies have left their mark on the England team.
Seven ex-Black Cats players were included in the Lionesses squad, which was unveiled via social media on Wednesday morning as celebrities and former footballers including David Beckham, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright sent personal messages of support.
Manchester City defender Steph Houghton was the first player to be announced as Prince William confirmed the England captain would be on the plane in a squad dominated by players from Nick Cushing’s FA Cup winning side.
Houghton is one of a core group of the England squad who have previously represented Sunderland, along with Carly Telford, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Jill Scott, Lucy Staniforth and Beth Mead.
Lionesses boss Neville confirmed that the FA decided to announce the squad player by player, rather than in one list, with personal messages from celebrities to give each squad member visibility on social media ahead of the competition.
England will face Japan, Scotland and Argentina in their group games when the tournament kicks off on June 7, as they aim to better their third place finish from Canada in 2015.
England squad in full: Goalkeepers – Karen Bardsley, Mary Earps, Carly Telford; Defenders – Steph Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Millie Bright, Abbie McManus, Leah Williamson; Midfielders – Jade Moore, Keira Walsh, Jill Scott, Karen Carney, Georgia Stanway, Lucy Staniforth, Forwards; Nikita Parris, Fran Kirby, Ellen White, Jodie Taylor, Toni Duggan, Beth Mead.