A NIGHTMARE run of luck for Lucy Staniforth could be well and truly over on Friday night as she gears up for a possible senior England debut - and dad Gordon cannot be more proud.

York-born Staniforth, who has come back from two separate knee reconstructions in the past five years, has been called up to Phil Neville's squad for the Women's World Cup qualifier away to Russia tomorrow (5pm BST) after a stellar season with Sunderland.

Her form has also been noted by the big hitters of the women's game - with a trio of top teams in the Women's Super League thought to be interested in signing her for next season.

Neville's line-up has not been made public but Staniforth senior - who had two spells with York City in his own playing career and also later coached at York College - is optimistic his 25-year-old daughter will win her first senior cap at some stage.

"I'm absolutely delighted for her," said the Bootham Crescent star of the 1970s and '80s, who also played for Hull City and Carlisle United.

"It's not guaranteed that she'll play, but I think they should win comfortably - they beat Russia 6-0 at home - and I'm hoping she'll get to play some part in it."

Attacking midfielder Lucy - who has played for England at each age group below senior level, starting at the Under-17s World Cup in 2008 - and Reading's Lauren Bruton were called into the senior party today after Isobel Christiansen and Jordan Nobbs withdrew with injury.

Dad Gordon added: "If I was Phil Neville I'd be thinking, 'Let's see how it goes and get her (Lucy) on the pitch,' but who knows. I'm hoping."

Staniforth junior first started playing football for the boys' team at Copmanthorpe Primary School before moving with her mum to Alnwick, Northumberland, at secondary school age.

She joined Sunderland's Centre of Excellence while in the North East before making her professional bow in 2010 with Lincoln Ladies, the franchise that later became Notts County.

She then joined Bristol Academy and helped the team to the 2013 Women's FA Cup final against Arsenal - only to suffer her first serious knee injury on the big occasion.

After lengthy rehab she signed for Liverpool but during her season on Merseyside she did the other knee in training.

On her next return, she joined Sunderland, going on to be named captain last year and ending this season as top-scorer and Supporters' Player of the Year. The Black Cats finished fourth bottom of WSL1.

Staniforth senior said: "What stopped her progress were two horrendous knee injuries - she did the ACL in both knees.

"She had pretty much two years out (in total). It also takes time to get back to your best - not just physically but psychologically as well.

"It was a tough time but she's very strong psychologically and mentally regarding rehab."

Staniforth senior, who now works with the North Riding County FA, knows the women's game better than most, as an ex-boss of former powerhouses Doncaster Belles.

He added: "I get to as many games as possible, and I can see what she's thinking as she's playing.

"We discuss every match and I've just told her to keep going and that it (selection for England) will happen. 'People drop out with injury and your chance will come'. And that's what's happened.

"Sunderland have struggled a bit but this is really a great reward at the end of a difficult two seasons there.

"She was made captain and was top-scorer and, although the team has struggled, she's been the best player. It can be difficult to get recognition when the team isn't doing so well, but she's got it.

"We're pleased as punch."

England currently head their qualifying group with four wins and a draw from their five of eight fixtures played so far. Russia are third with two wins, one draw and one defeat.