'We're no one hit wonder'
Saturday, 05 June, 2010
Becky Spencer believes England can retain the European title.
Becky Spencer was not even born when an England team last retained a major title, but on Saturday afternoon the Arsenal goalkeeper has a chance to make history.
Spencer is part of the England Women's U19s side who are the current European Champions. They will take on France in the 2010 Final in Skopje on Saturday afternoon aiming to keep hold of the silverware they won last year. Victory will see them become consecutive European winners - an honour that was last achieved by England men's Under-21s in 1984.
And Spencer is one of a small group of England players who have also been a part of two previous Euro Finals, after her involvement in the England squad during Euro 2007 and 2009.
"I was the youngest in the group in 2007, so it was all really new to me. I didn't expect to play," Spencer told TheFA.com. "It was a chance to get some experience and I think I’ve been able to take that with me into the other Finals I’ve played in.
"There were quite a few of us in Belarus last year who had been involved in the squad in 2007, so we knew what to expect and we always felt that it was within our reach to actually win the competition.
"We worked together as a team and got what we deserved."
A year on from claiming their title, Spencer believes the team have the ability to sustain the momentum and keep enjoying success.
As well as the players who have enjoyed previous victories in the European Championship, Spencer says that the new group of players are equally as capable of achieving the same as the previous team.
"This time around we have the backbone of a side with the experience of winning the tournament, plus we have the new players who have come in and have performed equally as well and are hungry to enjoy the same success as the rest of us.
"We’ve had a few injuries to deal with, which has been disappointing, but the players who have come in from the standby list have been excellent in training, and when they’ve been given a chance on the pitch, so it’s been seamless really.
"We all bring with us different qualities and it has come together really well. The team spirit is very good, everyone gets on really well and we know what our objective is.
She added: "We’ve performed well but there’s a lot more to come from us and hopefully we can peak at the right time in the Final on Saturday.
"The pressure is on us to retain the trophy, but we all thrive off of that and knew that we would have a lot of challenges along the way. We have to use that to our advantage."
Spencer has been a part of the U19s set-up for over three years after featuring in the squad back in 2007. Having got her hands on a winners' medal in 2009 she is now determined to follow that up with victory over France in what will be her final game for England's U19s.
"This will be the last game for many of us play together for the U19s, so we really want to make sure we go out in style," she said. "We know France play open football, a bit like us, and want to get the ball down. Hopefully it will be a good game between two teams who want to play good football.
"It will be such a great achievement to lift the trophy again. After reaching the Final in 2007, and winning it last year, we’ve just been getting better and better.
"So for everyone involved in the squad it will be a really special moment if we can win it again and prove to every other nation that we’re not a one hit wonder but that we can keep on doing it."