BELLES SIGN ENGLAND STARS

Exclusive by Frazer Snowdon AMBITIOUS Doncaster Belles sent shockwaves through women's football this week when they signed two more top international stars.

Exclusive by Frazer Snowdon

AMBITIOUS Doncaster Belles sent shockwaves through women's football this week when they signed two more top international stars.

After weeks of negotiation, International Player of the Year Becky Easton and England colleague Karen Burke signed on the dotted line on Monday in a transfer swoop which takes the number of current England players at the club to six.

The double signing is sure to make the Belles firm favourites for success in the National Division and both Cup competitions this season.

Easton, 26, is a tough-tackling central midfield player with 33 caps for her country, while Burke, 29, is equally accomplished having played for her country throughout the last six years.

Belles manager Julie Chipchase told the Free Press: "They are both quality players, and I'm delighted they have joined us.

"As a manager you're always looking for this type of player, so when we heard they were available we moved in.

"But we've lost midfielders Denise Thomas and Laura Duncan who have both gone to America, so these two new players are ideal.

"I told them both that we were looking for players that have the desire to win, and they certainly have that. Hopefully they will be with the club for a long time to come."

"I'm coming here to win things - hopefully everything," said Easton. "At Everton I wasn't really happy with the coaching, and they weren't very ambitious.

"They always seemed happy to finish fourth, which obviously wasn't good enough.

"I knew some of the Doncaster players through the England team, and they told me how ambitious the club was, and I wanted to be a part of that."

And Burke added: "I'm looking forward to the start of the season, although I'll miss the first two games because I have been playing for a club called IBV in Iceland all summer, and I have to fulfil my contract there.

"Becky and I both want the same things, and we hope to achieve that success with Doncaster."

* Easton played for Doncaster in the Reebok Tournament last weekend, when they were beaten 1-0 in the final by her old club, Everton.

Also in action for Doncaster was former Croydon player/manager Debbie Bampton, who scored a cracking header in the semi final when they knocked out the first full-time women's team, Fulham, on penalties.

This weekend the Belles play Hearts in their final friendly, before travelling to National Division newcomers Barry Town for their first league fixture on August 20.