England women's coach Hope Powell names 23-strong squad for Croatia qualifier

Gemma Bonner

England women's manager Hope Powell has named uncapped Chelsea defender Gemma Bonner in her squad for the Euro 2013 qualifier against Croatia.

19-year-old Bonner was named after Powell learned Everton defender Fern Whelan would be missing, while veterans Sue and Kelly Smith are also out.

Midfielder Dani Buet and striker Natasha Dowie have also been called up for the match on 31 March.

"Gemma has been doing well at Chelsea and in the Under-23s," said Powell.

"She's raw and has still got a lot to learn, but she deserves a chance to experience the senior set-up and this game gives me an ideal opportunity to have a look at her.

"It's unfortunate that we have had to call her up because of the injury to Fern but it gives Gemma a chance to showcase herself."

England sit in second place in Group Six, five points behind leaders the Netherlands but with a game in hand, while Croatia only have a single point from their first four games.

England squad to face Croatia on 31 March


Karen Bardsley (Linköping), Rachel Brown (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Bristol Academy), Carly Telford (Chelsea)


Gemma Bonner (Chelsea), Sophie Bradley (Lincoln), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Dunia Susi (Birmingham City), Casey Stoney (Lincoln), Rachel Unitt (Birmingham City)


Anita Asante (Gothenburg), Laura Bassett (Birmingham City), Dani Buet (Chelsea), Steph Houghton (Arsenal), Jade Moore (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Everton), Fara Williams (Everton)


Eniola Aluko (Birmingham City), Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Jess Clarke (Lincoln), Natasha Dowie (Everton), Rachel Williams (Birmingham City), Ellen White (Arsenal).