Ex-Hatter Lauren would love to remain part of Neville's England plans
Former Luton Town Ladies footballer Lauren Bruton would love to remain part of the England Ladies set-up after her first call-up last week.
The 25-year-old, who plays for Reading in the FA Women’s Super League One, was drafted into the squad due to injury, flying out to Russia for the World Cup qualifier that England won 3-1.
Speaking to the News/Gazette, Bruton, who will have wait a little longer for her debut, remaining an unused substitute during the game, said: “Obviously I would love to stay in the squad for the next qualifier as this is where I want to be - but we will see.
“It was a fantastic experience for me being in the squad for a World Cup qualifier.
“It all came about so quickly that I didn’t really have too much time to think about the whole situation but I loved every minute of it.
“Training with the top female footballers in the country and being a part of a really important game for us was a very good experience for me.
“I was really honoured and very proud to have been called up. It’s something I’ve always strived towards throughout my whole career and I was thankful for the chance.”
On the game itself, Bruton, who was born in Luton, going to St Martin de Porres Primary School and Cardinal Newman Catholic School, continued: “ It was a solid performance from us.
“Russia is a difficult place to go and they have some very good players but we made sure we saw the game out and got the three points which is the most important thing going into the last couple of games of the qualifiers.”
Bruton was called into the squad by boss Phil Neville, who was appointed in January, and when asked on the impact of the ex-Manchester United and Everton defender, Bruton said: “He’s been fantastic. He’s got so much knowledge of the game which is great for us to learn from and his aim is to get England to the top and start winning trophies which everyone wants to buy in to.”
Friday’s result saw England back on top of the group and are now one of the favourites to reach the finals held in France next year with two games to go.
Bruton said: “I am confident that we will qualify for the World Cup.
“I feel like we have enough quality in the squad to get the points we need from our last two games for us to qualify.
“It’ll be tough as Wales made it extremely difficult for us in our last outing and going to Kazakhstan will always be a tough task but the points that we’ve got on the board already put us in a very good position going into those games.”
Bruton earned her call-up after an excellent season for the Royals helping them to fourth, their best finish to date.
On her campaign, she said: “I didn’t start very well, but as the season has gone on I felt like I grew into my new position in the team and it just got better and better for me.
“It was a great season for the club finishing fourth and we will be looking to push on again next season.”
Bruton made her way to Reading via a stint at Arsenal, whom she joined from the Hatters as a 14-year-old.
Speaking about her time at Luton, Bruton, remembers it fondly, saying: “I started out there when I was nine all the way to 14 when I left to join Arsenal. I loved playing for Luton and I have a lot of good memories from my time there. I do thank the staff there that helped me through my development at that time of my career.
“Dave Baker and Nikki Baker who ran the club did a lot for me during my time at the club as well as my last coach that I had before I left, Sean McEntaggart. “They helped me progress as a player from the very start and I’ll always be thankful.”