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City septet receive England call-ups

Seven of Manchester City Women's stars have been called up to the England squad.

The World Cup bronze medal-winning quintet of Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Jill Scott and Toni Duggan will be joined by defender Demi Stokes and midfielder Isobel Christiansen at St George's Park next week, ahead of the upcoming Women's European Championship qualifier against Estonia.

The Three Lionesses kick-off their Euro 2017 adventure on Monday 21 September and during the preparations at the training camp, roughly a third of the 23-player squad will be made up of Blues.

Christiansen, currently in the form of her life with Nick Cushing's side, will be in contention to make her first senior appearance for the Three Lionesses.

The midfielder has featured 12 times for the under-23s but last did so back in November. Having waited patiently for her chance to represent her country at first-team level, the 23-year-old declared she could not be more proud to be given the opportunity.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," she smiled. "My hard work at club level is starting to pay off. I'm really pleased to be part of the squad and I can't wait to meet up with them.

Isobel Christiansen and Jill Scott

"The Lionesses had such a successful trip in Canada and I'm ecstatic to be part of the first camp after the World Cup. I'm ready for the challenge and I'm looking forward to it.

"It's something I was hoping for - and I've been working towards it - but my main aim was working hard for my club. I knew, if I could do that, I'd put myself on the radar and I'm delighted Mark has noticed me."

When asked how she discovered the news, Christiansen explained: "Firstly, I got an email so I had time to compose myself before Mark called me. I was just so happy - I'm not going to lie, I started to cry a little bit!

"He said my performances since the World Cup have been good. He had spoken to me after the game against Arsenal Ladies and said he was pleased with my performance and that it was clear I'd been working hard.

"This was a phonecall every player wants to hear and I'm ready to work my socks off to help the squad move forward."

With so many of her City teammates also heading to St George's Park, Christiansen will have no trouble settling into the Lionesses' side and is looking forward to doing so.

She stated: "We've got a big contingent of City players in the England squad. That represents the form we're in domestically and the quality we have at the club, which is recognised internationally.

"I haven't really thought about participating in the game itself - I'm just focused on integrating myself into the team and learning the philosophy.

"I'm looking to the training days ahead before we fly out to Estonia. I think we have five days. 

"Obviously, I'll be delighted to get any minutes in the game - that's an aim of mine - but I'm just delighted to be selected and given the chance to show what I can do."

England's game against Estonia will kick-off at 5pm BST in Tallinn. The Lionesses' next home game takes place on Sunday 29 November against Bosnia-Herzegovina at Bristol City's Ashton Gate.

Catch your Lionesses at their next home game on Thursday 10 September against Liverpool Ladies in their pursuit of the FA WSL title and UEFA Women’s Champions League qualification.

Tickets are available and are priced at £6 for adults and £4 for u16s. Buy yours now.

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