Reading Women’s striker Fran Kirby declared her shock and pride at being called up to the England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Canada.
Kirby, 21, has been in fine form for Royals in the past two years and that was rewarded by being named in Mark Sampson’s final 23 for the event which kicks off in June.
Speaking to BBC, she said: “It was more surprising than anything else.
“Two years ago, I wouldn’t have said I’d be anywhere near (the squad) but I’m really proud to be here.”
Royals’ attacker will have a fight on her hands for a starting berth in Canada with Manchester City’s Toni Duggan, Chelsea’s Eni Aluko and Arsenal striker Lianne Sanderson the likely preferred choices with Ellen White and Jodie Taylor also taken as striking options.
But Kirby feels being a bit of an unknown quantity could see her add to the eight senior caps she has already earned.
She continued: “A lot of teams don’t know much about me and I’m quite small, so a lot of teams could underestimate me.
“I don’t know much about them and they don’t know much about me, so it plays into my hands more than anything.
“The most important thing is gaining experience, especially at my age. I’m hoping to get as many minutes on the pitch as possible.”
Sampson’s charges begin their tournament against france (June 9) before Group F clashes with Mexico (June 13) and Colombia (June 17).
Goalkeepers: Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal), Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Carly Telford (Notts County)
Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Laura Bassett (Notts County), Alex Greenwood (Notts County), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Casey Stoney (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Fara Williams (Liverpool), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Jade Moore (Birmingham), Karen Carney (Birmingham), Jo Potter (Birmingham), Katie Chapman (Chelsea)
Forwards: Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Eni Aluko (Chelsea), Lianne Sanderson (Arsenal), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns), Fran Kirby (Reading), Ellen White (Notts County).