England’s record cap holder sets sights on sensational World Cup return

Fara Williams has more caps than any other woman – or man – for England, and says she has not given up on a call-up this summer

England's record appearance maker Fara Williams has not given up hope of featuring in this summer's Women's World Cup – but is preparing herself for missing out on selection.

Williams has 170 caps for her country and has appeared in eight major tournaments for England and Great Britain, but has not been named in the squad for next month’s friendlies against Canada and Spain.

The 35-year-old Reading midfielder also missed out on the squad for the recent SheBelievesCup, which England won under the management of Phil Neville, but will continue to press her claim for a recall in time for the World Cup, which begins in France on June 7.

“I never give up hope on being selected,” Williams told FFT. “What I've got to do is keep performing well. I feel like I'm doing that at Reading at the moment and hopefully Phil is keeping an eye on me and is considering me, which I'm sure he is because I've been on standby for squads recently.

“I'm sure I'm still on his agenda a little bit, but I understand that I've had my time. I've been involved in the England team for a long time and I’ve been to plenty of tournaments, but I would still love to go to the World Cup in some capacity.

“I feel like I'm playing well to give myself a chance, but I understand that young players need to come through at some point and this may be the time when I miss out.”

Williams was speaking at the launch of this year’s BT Sport Pub Cup, which features women’s teams for the first time and will see her manage one of the teams in the semi final and final of the competition, which will take place at Manchester City’s Academy and Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

“They’ve introduced females to the tournament this year for the first time and that’s fantastic,” Williams says. “BT have had great involvement with women’s football, trying to showcase our game throughout the last few years, it’s great that they’re doing this now with grass roots football. Maybe there’s a female who wants to get back into football and it gives them an opportunity to get back out there, put a kit on and be part of it.”

To enter your team into the BT Sport Pub Cup, go to www.btsportbusiness.com/pubcup. Entries close on Sunday, March 31