Britton close to redemption
For Everton's Sammy Britton, banned from international football since confessing last November to taking drugs, this Sunday's England friendly with Scotland, is much more than a preparation match: should she play well and get picked for the summer tournament, her redemption from ignominy would be complete.
The 27-year full back was suspended by coach Powell after admitting to having smoked marijuana shortly before the Euro 2001 play-off tie against Ukraine, but has come through an F.A.-instigated rehabilitation programme and ended the season in good form with her club in the Women's Premier League.
"Sammy has gone through a tough time sorting herself out," said Powell,"but she has done everything asked of her by myself and The F.A. and she is desperate to prove she should still be part of the England set-up."
Britton, one of England's most experienced women's internationals, is just grateful to be involved with the national team once again, and knows all too well that she is the one who needs to make all the running if she is to snatch a place in the Euro squad.
"I know I will have to prove myself all over again," she said. "But the best way to get over what I've been through will be to fight my way back into the England team - and after playing in all of our Euro qualifiers up to that play-off against Ukraine, I am desperate to play in the finals in Germany."