Great Bruton plays for England

... while learning for her GCSE exams!

Footie-mad Luton lass Lauren Bruton will jet out to New Zealand tomorrow after being selected to play for England in the upcoming U17 Women's World Cup.

The 15-year-old, who is in Year 11 at Cardinal Newman School and sits her GCSEs early next year, was picked on the back of an impressive performance during the first phase of the U17 European Championships held in Estonia last month.

But with her all-important exams on the horizon, her school have ensured she will be keeping her coursework ticking over, despite being on the other side of the globe for nearly a month.

She said: 'I'm very excited to be going and we fly out tomorrow. I was actually pretty shocked to be honest because I didn't really think I'd get chosen. Estonia was really good, I played really well, played every game, scored two.

'I'm taking four bits of coursework and a month's work for every subject that I'm doing so I'm going to be fairly busy.'

She made a goalscoring debut during her country's impressive 4-0 win over Greece before hitting the net again in the very next match, a 3-0 win against Estonia.

And, despite a narrow 2-1 defeat against Norway in their last group match, England still managed to qualify for the second phase of the competition - which gets under way in the spring - as best runners-up.

Striker Bruton turns 16 next month and also played for Luton Belles between the age of eight and 14 which brought her to the attention of Arsenal Ladies' U15s, for whom she now plays.

Proud mother Caroline said: 'She was really shocked to have been picked, I just wish I was rich enough to be able to go over there with her. It's the first time they've done this age group, we're all very proud of her and we're all mad Arsenal fans as well. The school have organised for her to take some work over there so it's going to be hard on her trying to do everything.'

Bruton and her team-mates will spend a fortnight acclimatising before going head-to-head with Brazil in their World Cup opener in Wellington on Thursday, October 30. Nigeria then follow on Sunday, November 2, again in Wellington, before England round off their group matches against Korea in Auckland on Wednesday, November 5.

Peter Gale, who is the girls' football coach at Cardinal Newman, added: 'It's a fantastic opportunity for her. She is a really good all-rounder across the board and is a senior prefect at the school so is a fine role model for the other students. She is very well organised and I'm sure she will take everything in her stride.'