City skipper named permanent England captain
- 04 April 2014 11:30
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
City Women skipper Steph Houghton has been named as England Women's captain.
Chosen by head coach Mark Sampson, the Durham-born defender will now lead her country on a permanent basis, ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in Brighton.
Upon hearing the news, Houghton could not hide her delight, declaring: "It’s a dream come true. To wear an England shirt and to captain your country is something I've dreamed of since I was a little girl.
"All the captains I've played under - such as Casey Stoney, Faye White and Kelly Smith - have all really helped me throughout my career and it meant a lot. I know if I needed advice, I could go to any of them.
"On the pitch, I just try to lead by example and do the best for my country. We have such a talented group of girls and to put on the armband and lead them out in a world cup qualifier will be a tremendous honour."
Having represented her country since under-16s schools level, Houghton made her debut for the senior side in 2007 and has gone on to make 44 appearances, scoring six goals.
She has captained the side twice under Sampson and has already demonstrated her leadership at club level. Before receiving the armband at City, she led former side Arsenal to the cup double in 2013.
Reflecting on his decision, Sampson stated: "Steph has many of the qualities needed to be an inspirational leader and the attributes that I want our team to epitomise. She’s honest, hard-working, ambitious and has a winning attitude.
"At 25, Steph also has the room and time to improve as a player and grow as a leader, which fits in perfectly with our vision for the team.
"She is being passed the armband by an incredible leader in Casey Stoney, who has been a fantastic England captain and ambassador for women’s football. I’ve spoken with Casey and she will be a great support for Steph moving forward."
England take on Montenegro at the AMEX Community Stadium on Saturday 5 April in the qualification campaign for the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup. The game is live on BBC Two from 12.45pm.