Sophie Walton hopes the friendly faces in the Harrogate crowd will inspire her to victory tonight.
England v France
Women's U19 International Friendly
7.45pm, Tuesday 30 October 2007
Tickets: 01423 883671
Sophie Walton is hoping to see plenty of friendly faces when she takes on France at Harrogate tonight.
The starlet is part of the England Women's U19 squad who is preparing to meet their old rivals in a game just short drive down the A61 from her hometown of Leeds.
"It’s great that this game is close to home," said the 17 year old.
"Most of our games are in London or abroad, but my family come to as many games as possible. Football has always been a family thing. Hopefully some distant relatives will come too."
As well as mum and dad, her two footballing brothers, Simon and Scott should be in attendance as England attempt to replicate their previous performance against France at this level - a 3-1 win in the European Championships.
Sophie's twin Scott is no stranger to the ground - he plays his football for Harrogate Town - while other sibling Simon, a former Leeds footballer now playing at QPR, is the second member of the Walton family to have won international recognition after being capped at U16, U17 and U19 level.
"I used to have kickabouts in the garden with Simon and my twin brother Scott," recalled Sophie. "I think I was about five or six when I started."
Simon would soon leave behind garden football for Elland Road and England but Sophie was never too far behind, joining Leeds before being selected for the Three Lions.
"I was shell-shocked when I found out," said Sophie of her England call-up. "I was only 13 when I got called up for the U17s. There were four of us from Leeds who were selected. We were all shocked. But I really enjoyed it when I got there. The team spirit was excellent."
That team spirit was never more evident than at last summer's U19 European Championships where England, under the guidance of Head Coach Mo Marley, reached the Final for the first time in their history.
Germany, however, proved a step too far in extra-time but one team who England did defeat en route to the Final were France, tonight's opponents.
"France will be a difficult game for us but it will be valuable experience. It will be a competitive match, a real test," she added.Tickets for the match are on general sale from Harrogate Town FC on 01423 883671.Tickets are priced at: Adults £3; Concessions (Children U16 and OAPs) £1.