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Maidstone’s Alessia Russo named in England squad for Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand; Gravesend-born Man City midfielder Laura Coombs also included

Alessia Russo has been named in the England squad for this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand – alongside another Kent-born player.

Manchester United striker Russo, from Maidstone, shot to fame when she helped the Lionesses win the European Championships last summer.

England and Manchester United striker Alessia Russo. Picture: PA Images
England and Manchester United striker Alessia Russo. Picture: PA Images

She scored four times as a substitute, including a brilliant backheel in the semi-final win over Sweden, and has 11 goals in 21 appearances for her country.

Russo is joined in the squad by Gravesend-born Manchester City midfielder Laura Coombs. The 32-year-old former Dartford Grammar School for Girls pupil has four England caps already to her name.

Russo, 24, has enjoyed another impressive domestic campaign, scoring 12 goals as United finished runners-up to Chelsea in both the WSL and FA Cup.

While she played exclusively from the bench in the Euros, Russo is widely expected to lead the line for the Lionesses as they go in search of World Cup glory.

England face Haiti in their Group D opener in Brisbane on July 22.

They travel to Sydney to face Denmark on July 28 and meet China in Adelaide on August 1.

Russo was born and bred in Maidstone, attending East Farleigh Primary School and St Simon Stock Secondary School.

She played youth football for Bearsted before being picked up by Charlton Athletic.

From there she joined Chelsea, followed by a spell at Brighton, before attending university in America and playing for North Carolina Tar Heels.

Manchester United came calling in 2020 - a dream move for the lifelong Red Devils fan - with Russo’s career going from strength to strength in the WSL. She was heavily linked with a deadline day move to Arsenal in January earlier this year but remained at Old Trafford.

Having progressed through the England age groups, she marked her arrival on the senior stage with an 11-minute hat-trick as Sarina Wiegman’s side beat Latvia 20-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

Laura Coombs - has been named in England’s World Cup squad. Picture: Manchester City FC
Laura Coombs - has been named in England’s World Cup squad. Picture: Manchester City FC

It’s a first major tournament for Coombs, who has impressed for Manchester City in the WSL this season – form that has seen her represent England for the first time since 2015.

Coombs was initially with Arsenal before moving to Chelsea and then Liverpool. She’s also had loan spells at the Los Angeles Strikers.

England World Cup squad: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), Laura Coombs (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur), Lauren Hemp, (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Alessia Russo (Manchester United).

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