The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Kieran Theivam

ENG­LAND’S Karen Car­ney is tak­ing noth­ing for granted in terms of mak­ing Mark Samp­son’s squad for the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships next sum­mer.

That’s de­spite a star­ring role in which she grabbed a goal and an as­sist in Tues­day’s win over Bel­gium in Leu­ven.

Car­ney, 29, would be tak­ing part in her fourth Eu­ros if se­lected, hav­ing made her tour­na­ment de­but in 2005 as a 17-year-old, when the com­pe­ti­tion was held in the North-West of Eng­land.

De­spite be­ing one of only four play­ers in Tues­day’s group to fea­ture in squads at the three pre­vi­ous Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tions – Alex Scott, Casey Stoney and Fara Wil­liams be­ing the oth­ers – Car­ney says there is a lot of time be­tween now and the big kick-off in the Nether­lands on July 16.

She said: “There are a lot of games and a few more months ahead, so I need to go back to Chelsea and do my best for them.

“Hope­fully, my form will get me se­lected.

“If I play well, I can put my name in the frame for the fix­ture with France (an­nounced this week for Oc­to­ber 21 in Don­caster).

“You need to be on your toes and, if I do my best for my club, I’ll also do my best for my na­tional team if se­lected.”

The Chelsea for­ward was in­stru­men­tal in help­ing her team over­come Bel­gium and top their qual­i­fy­ing group ahead of the home side.

She crossed for Nikita Par­ris to open the scor­ing with a 65th-minute header, be­fore adding a sec­ond her­self with a de­fected right-footed ef­fort 20 min­utes later. Start­ing the game in a wide mid­field role, Car­ney was moved to a cen­tral po­si­tion in the sec­ond half, play­ing more as a No. 10 be­hind lone striker Par­ris, who had played the first half up front with Ar­se­nal’s Dan Carter.

This was a po­si­tion where she was able to in­flu­ence the game more af­ter a first half where chances were at a premium for both sides.

Her goal was the 31st of her in­ter­na­tional ca­reer, and Car­ney ad­mit­ted that the more at­tack­ing cen­tral role was one she pre­ferred.

She also out­lined that there was work to do if she wanted to ce­ment that po­si­tion as her own.

She said: “The man­ager asked me to do a role in the first half, but I think in the sec­ond half the po­si­tion suited me bet­ter.

“I pre­fer the No. 10 po­si­tion, but if I want to make it my own I know I need to be a lot bet­ter. It’s still pro­gres­sion for me.”

Eng­land now face an anx­ious wait for the draw for next sum­mer’s Eu­ros. That will take place in Rot­ter­dam on Novem­ber 8.

Scot­land, qual­i­fy­ing for a ma­jor tour­na­ment for the first time, will be seeded lower than Eng­land, mean­ing there is a chance the two could be drawn in the same group.

That would be an in­trigu­ing prospect for fans of both coun­tries.

In ad­di­tion to the friendly against France at Don­caster’s Keep­moat Sta­dium in Oc­to­ber, the FA also an­nounced this week a fix­ture against hosts Hol­land.

That will be played on Novem­ber 29 in Til­burg.

SCORER: Karen Car­ney seals Eng­land’s vic­tory against Bel­gium

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