England call on Melissa

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Promising Leyland teenager Melissa Ball has caught the eye of England selectors.

The attacking midfielder has been a prominent member of Preston North End Women’s Football Club this season.

And her good form was rewarded with a call-up to an England Under-19s training camp at the University of Warwickshire, in Coventry, last week.

The 17-year-old, who attended Lostock Hall High School, began playing football at the age of eight – encouraged by her football-mad brothers Ashley, 22, and 19-year-old James.

Mel said: “I was really looking forward to going to the training sessions with some of the players from teams such as Everton and Liverpool.

“I will be doing my best to force my way into the squad, but I have to wait and see if I can convince the selectors.

“I never thought that I would get called up, especially because I have been suffering from an ankle injury and only played a couple of games towards the end of the season.”

Mum Jackie said: “She had a bit of an injury this season but she got over that and got into the Preston first team. She’s worked hard and we’re really proud of her.”

Ball is studying sports science at Runshaw College, and hopes to become a PE teacher.

Head coach at Preston Andy Burgess said: “Melissa has been outstanding for us.

“She is full of energy, enthusiasm and has bags of quality, and now hopefully she will go away with England and show them what she is capable of. “It will be a tremendous experience for her rubbing shoulders with players from Arsenal and Everton.”