It is never easy combining National team duties with the weekly commitments of playing in a top football club and after scoring 46 goals in 117 International appearances, spanning an eventful 20-year period, Kelly Smith of the Arsenal Ladies has decided to call time on her Three Lions career to give more focus to the remainder of her club career.
The 36-year old forward ranks amongst the most celebrated players in English Women’s football, certainly the best of her generation and a role model to the younger ones, and despite a chance to sign off on a high with the Women’s World Cup coming up later in the year in Canada, the veteran Arsenal legend has decided to hand up her International boots.
“After a lot of consideration and many conversations, I have made the toughest decision of my career to retire from international football” Smith said, in a statement made available on Arsenal.com
“For me, it doesn’t get any better than playing for your country. I feel exceptionally proud and honoured to have played for England for 20 wonderful years. I have enjoyed every single minute of representing my country and wearing the England shirt”
“Although I am stepping away from England, I remain totally committed to playing for my club, arsenal, and continuing to develop as a coach”
4 of those 46 goals which make her the all-time top scorer for England Women came at the 2007 World Cup held in China, including a brace in a 6 – 1 rout of Argentina. She made her England debut in 1995 while also being part of the team that represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.
With no more International assignments, Smith will now focus on helping the Arsenal Ladies in mounting a determined challenge on all available titles this season, beginning with the FA Women’s Super League when hostilities begin with a fixture away to Notts County on the 2nd of April.
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