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Friday, June 10, 2011
White passed fit for England

Captain Faye White has been included in England's Women's World Cup squad after overcoming a knee injury, but there is no place among Hope Powell's final 21 for experienced duo Sue Smith and Lindsay Johnson.

White has not played since she injured an ankle for Arsenal against Bristol Academy in April, but head coach Powell is satisfied that her skipper will be sufficiently fit for the tournament, which begins in Germany on June 26.

Smith, 31, made her England debut in 1997 and has 90 caps to her name but she has not made the final cut while Everton defender Johnson is not among the party despite playing 43 times for her country.

Everton's Fara Williams is also included despite suffering a knee injury recently.

Sophia Bradley, Dunia Susi, Claire Rafferty, Ellen White and Steph Houghton are included and will all be representing their country at a major championships for the first time.

After beating Sweden and the number one side in the world the United States recently, England are among the favourites and Powell is hopeful that her squad can go one better than they did in their last appearance at a major tournament, when they lost to Germany in the final of the 2009 European Championship.

''It was a very challenging decision,'' Powell said about deciding her final 21. ''The standard of top-level women's football in this country has definitely improved and we are in a better place now in terms of players than we have ever been.

''I have got a really talented bunch of players to choose from and this choice has been made even more difficult in recent times by the emergence of some younger players who have come to the fore and have done really well. They deserve an opportunity to be part of something really great, which is what this World Cup will be.''

England qualified for the finals after topping their qualification group unbeaten and defeating Switzerland in a two-legged play-off last year.

Powell's side will take on Mexico on June 27 in their opening match before facing New Zealand and Japan in their other group fixtures.

Full squad: K Bardsley (New Jersey Sky Blue), R Brown (Everton), S Chamberlain (Bristol Academy), S Bradley (Lincoln Ladies), C Rafferty (Chelsea), A Scott (Boston Breakers), C Stoney (Lincoln Ladies), D Susi (Birmingham), R Unitt (Everton), F White (Arsenal), A Asante (New Jersey Sky Blue), L Bassett (Birmingham), J Clarke (Lincoln Ladies), S Houghton (Arsenal), J Scott (Everton), F Williams (Everton), R Yankey (Arsenal), E Aluko (New Jersey Sky Blue), K Carney (Birmingham), K Smith (Boston Breakers), E White (Arsenal)

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