Former Accrington Ladies goalkeeper Rachel Brown hopes her vast experience will give her an edge in the battle for the England number one jersey at the World Cup.
The 30-year-old shook off a season of injury niggles to make Hope Powell’s 21-strong squad for Germany 2011, as the Three Lions look to improve on their quarter-final finish in China four years ago.
England reached the Euro 2009 final, losing to Germany, and have beaten two of the best sides in the world, USA and Sweden, in the last two months.
Rachel knows this could be her last World Cup, and she is eager to make the most of it: "I’m absolutely thrilled to get into the squad, especially with the season I’ve had with injury.
"But I’ve had the all-clear and thankfully got the right call.
"The hard work starts now though, and there is tough competition to get back in the side with Karen Bardsley and Siobhan Chamberlain."
Rachel hopes her tournament know-how – having played in two Euros and a World Cup on her way to 73 caps – will have a bearing: "Goalkeeper is the one position where you really require experience, and obviously I’ve got that in my favour.
"I’ve got think there’s a fine line between the three keepers, and hopefully that advantage will help me get the nod."
Rachel has only played three games for Everton in the inaugural Women’s Super League season because of a series of bizarre injuries.
She said: "I injured my ankle in training when I landed on the base of one of the mannequins we use to distract us while practicing taking crosses, so that was a bit of a freak injury.
"I fractured my ankle before that, and I also took a knee in my knee, and it blew up.
"In the past I’ve had reason to be injured, but these were just unfortunate impact injuries.
"I’ve also hurt my thigh and shoulder this season, but I feel like I’m over it all now. My knee and shoulder are fine and I’m ready to go."
Rachel has played a big part in helping the squad establishing themselves among the better sides in Europe.
Their trajectory has been remarkable under Powell, especially the impact in the last two major tournaments, and Rachel added: "I feel proud to have been part of it all, everything seems to have moved in the right direction, and the team has great confidence of competing against anyone.
"We’ve recently beaten two of the best teams in the world, but now we have to do it on the big stage.
"We didn’t play well four years ago against USA in the quarter-finals or the final of the Euros, but we have high expectations of ourselves and have to prove to ourselves and the rest of the world how good we are."
In the back of Rachel’s mind is the chance to play in the Olympics next summer in a Great Britain team. She said: "That would be amazing – it would really make my career!
"You never know, it could be the only time a GB team plays in the Olympics, a one-off exception to unite, and to play in an Olympics in your own country would be incredible."