Arsenal Ladies’ Danielle Carter managed to bag a second hat-trick in as many England games during the Lioness’ 5-0 win over Estonia.
She scored in the 5-0 victory at home to Estonia following her previous cap in the 8-0 win away to Estonia as well.
The 23-year-old forward has found it hard to get any game time with England, with her first appearance not coming until the 21st of September 2015 and her second one yesterday (Thursday) nearly a year later.
If you look at the numbers, you do wonder how a player who gets two hat-tricks in two games at international level does not get more chances. There are two main reasons:
The first one is Estonia have limited resources, they have been under Keith Boanas management since 2009 and have developed and improved slowly. They are nowhere near England in terms of human resources and therefore happen to lose games by high scorelines.
It is interesting to note that Keith Boanas is leaving his post with Estonia and has had an interview with a mysterious WSL 1 club and could be coaching back in England very soon. Teams with disappointing overall performances this season in WSL 1 are Doncaster, Sunderland, Reading, Notts County and Arsenal. So it could be any one of those teams.
The second reason is the extreme density in quality forwards for England: players like Toni Duggan, Lianne Sanderson, Natasha Dowie and Eniola Aluko are high profile players who have not been selected recently.
Leah Galton, who plays in the NWSL in the USA, was recently called up but missed out on injury. Fran Kirby, Ellen White and Jodie Taylor are long term absentees due to injury.
Jessica Clarke, Gemma Davison, Karen Carney, Nikita Parris, Rachel Daly, Bethany Mead have all been called up in the last year. And if you add all the quality attacking midfielders in the squad who can play as a forward if needed, there is incredible player density and competition for places in the squad.
You can understand why Danielle Carter does not get many opportunities despite her excellent and consistent form with the Arsenal Ladies for the last two seasons.
The next step for her will be to be selected and get time in a game against a tough opponent at international level, there is a clear queuing system and players have to bide their time and wait for a chance.
Hopefully it will happen against Belgium next week.