Carlton Fairweather: England graduates inspire Sunderland

Women's World Cup semi-final: Japan v England
Venue: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Canada Date: Thursday, 2 July Kick-off: 00:00 BST Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website

Head coach Carlton Fairweather says the success of former Sunderland players in England's World Cup campaign is an inspiration to the current squad.

Ex-Black Cats Steph Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs are all part of the Lionesses squad.

England face Japan in the semi-finals at 00:00 BST on Thursday.

"The fact they can see girls who have been at Sunderland pushing on and playing for England is fantastic," Fairweather told BBC Newcastle.

"It gives them encouragement and belief if they work hard at their game they can get there as well.

"It's great for us and for England as well."

The WSL club has under-23 international Beth Mead in their ranks.

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