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It has been an exciting week for the Watford players; after starting off by convincingly beating league leaders Bristol Academy 6-2, four of the girls have been named in the squad for the forthcoming England under-23 training session in Derby.
Emma Thomas and Helen Lander competed for the Under-23 squad in the Nordic Cup last July so have already gained their first caps at this level. Goalkeeper Marie Hourihan and forward Ashlee Hincks have both played at the younger Under-19 age group before, but this will be their introduction with the Under-23s.
Watford's Goalkeeper Marie Hourihan, who has had a great start to the season commented: "It is testament to how well the team has started this season that 4 of the squad have been selected for the England Under-23s. Obviously I am delighted to have been selected and am looking forward to working with the England coaches, so that I can improve and become a better player."
Ashlee Hincks, still only 18, said: "To be honest I was really shocked at the call up. I have been involved with the under-19s and haven't really heard anything for a few months now but I'm over the moon! I'm really enjoying it at Watford and that is showing through my football and it's a great honour to be picked for the 23's. I owe a big thanks to all the staff at Watford for everything they have done for me!"
Goalscoring ace Helen Lander commented: "Obviously it is a big honour to be selected to take part in an England training camp and I think the fact that four of our players have been selected reflects how well we have done this season so far and hopefully that will continue. On a personal note it has been very pleasing to be scoring at the highest level and nice to know that it has been noted by Brent Hills and his staff."
The fact that the bulk of the attacking line-up for the Ladies has been selected for camp is not lost on Manager Sian Williams. "I am really pleased for all the girls, it is the next step for them in their development," she said. "I think there is always that question mark over players when they are not competing in the top division as to whether or not they can make the grade, but the girls have shown already that they have an abundance of talent and belief in themselves.
Three of our attacking strike force have been called up and rightly so, and the other main striker we have is senior international Ellen Maggs so little wonder we have been scoring goals!
At the other end of the field we have Marie Hourihan who has been outstanding so far. She has shown a fantastic attitude to train, learn and develop her talent, not only that, but she is serving as a great role model and training partner for Under-17 goalkeeper Lauren Davey who is also going from strength to strength.
I know that we have huge potential all over the field at Watford and we are seeking to fulfil our potential as a group. This is a deserved boost for everyone and I wish the girls well for their training camp."
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