Ladies fans will be delighted with the news that Sunderland’s Lucy Staniforth has been added to the Lionesses squad for England’s World Cup qualifier away to Russia on Friday (8th June, kick-off 5.00 p.m. BST, live on the BBC Red Button and on line)
Lucy (better known as “Stan”) has been an outstanding player for the Lasses since her return to the club where she started in women’s football at the age of 16, and won the s17-18 Player of the Season award by a comfortable margin. Her selection is overdue recognition for her skill and determination.
Could Stan be the 8th player to be capped by England developed by a club the FA no longer deem to be worthy of a place at the top levels of the national league structure? We wish her luck!
Meanwhile there have been crumbs of comfort against the recent FA structural review in that new club owner Stewart Donald has confirmed that the “ladies team is an important part of our Sunderland family…….. We want to continue the club’s long-standing tradition of developing top-class women’s footballers, as well as giving young girls the opportunity to aspire to play for Sunderland when they grow up.”
Where, and at what level, this may be will depend on the outcome of an appeal by the club to the FA against the decision to exclude them.