The Charlton and England midfielder on the positives of Women's Euro 2005.
Hello everybody, I hope you are all well and enjoying the Women’s European Championships.
England are now out but they were a great experience and I think our performances changed a lot of people’s views about women’s football in this country. I spoke to a lot of people and they were pleasantly surprised about the standard. So in that respect the tournament was a success but to be knocked out is very disappointing. I believe we were unfortunate as the goal in our last group game against Sweden highlighted but that is football.
The tournament was full of up’s and down’s, from Karen Carney’s injury time winner against Finland to the late turnaround in the defeat against Denmark. Football can be cruel sometimes and that late defeat was a massive blow for us. I really think that we could have won it so there are plenty of positives to take out of the tournament. We have a very young squad and in the future we will win things.
The coverage of the Women’s Euros was brilliant as well. The tournament was screened on the BBC, on the radio and in all the national newspapers so hopefully we have converted many people. There were some cracking games and and the amount of people that actually came to the games to support us was unbelievable. My only regret is that we didn’t do better for them and for ourselves.
The crowds were amazing. I have been in the England side for a while now but I have never played in front of a crowd like the one in the opening game against Finland. There were nearly 30,000 people at The City of Manchester stadium and it was absolutely fantastic. It was also pretty nerve-wracking, especially for some of the younger players in the team.
I didn’t have one specific highlight from the tournament. The highlight for me was just being there in the final squad of 20 and proving to the world that we can compete with the best. And the goal celebration for Karen Carney’s winner against Finland was great. I was trying to calm her down, she was mad!! The crowd were amazing when the goal went in.
I now can’t wait for the qualifiers for the 2007 World Cup in China which start in September. We are a young squad and I think we are a fantastic squad. Even the players on the bench can come on and take anyone’s place on the team. I think we can get to the World Cup, we are looking forward to it and we can get the results we need.
Going back to the Women’s Euros I think that Germany will go on to win the tournament this weekend. They look good, they look strong and they are scoring lots of goals so I will pick them.
I hope that the legacy from the tournament is that people have enjoyed the games and will now come back to watch us in friendlies and the World Cup qualifiers and it would be lovely to get massive crowds like that again to cheer us on because they kept us going.
I am now off on holiday to spend some quality time with my family and to get away from it all but the new season starts again very soon. I will be back training with Charlton in July, so no rest for the wicked!!
Speak to you all then.