Casey Stoney spoke of her pride at being named the new England Women's captain.
Casey Stoney spoke of her pride after being named the new captain of the England Women’s team.
The centre-back, and former vice captain, will take over from Faye White following White’s recent announcement that she is expecting her first child, and 30-year-old Stoney could not hide her delight at being asked to take over the mantle.
“It was an amazing feeling when Hope [Powell, England’s National Coach] told me; a very proud day for me and my family,” she beamed.
“I was quite emotional about it, because of what I’ve had to go through to get here. I never assumed anything. I was only ever the stand-in captain whenever Faye wasn’t available.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work, but Hope has backed me and stood by me over the years, so to come through those times and now be captain is fantastic for me. Hope believes in me and that’s the key thing.
“Captaining your country is the biggest honour you can get in football.”
Stoney has led her country on a number of occasions in the absence of White, including four of England’s first five Euro 2013 qualifiers. She realises the importance of wearing the armband and the kudos that comes with the role.
“You are the voice of the team,” she said. “I know about football and I try and impart my knowledge on and off the pitch, with or without the armband, but captaincy is about taking responsibility and making sure we are doing our very best as a team.
“If I can do half as good a job as Faye then I’ll have done well.”
Stoney first assignment as the new skipper will be a must-win UEFA Euro 2013 qualifier against Holland at Salford City Stadium on Sunday 17 June.
The Dutch currently top Group 6 with England five points behind in second place, albeit with a game in hand. If Holland win they will automatic qualify for next summer’s Euro Finals and will leave England facing a two-legged play-off in October.
“We all know the importance of the game,” admitted Stoney. “We know we have got to win and we put ourselves in this position by dropping points against Serbia. Now we need to make amends.
“We are good enough to beat Holland. We have got to make sure we are on our game and we will probably have to produce our best performance of the season because they are a good side.
“But we know what we have got to do.”
Tickets for the crucial Euro 2013 qualifying clash against Holland are on sale now, priced just £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions. U12s will be free when accompanied by an adult and wheelchair users will pay £2.50, carer will go free
Simply call the Salford City Stadium Ticket Hotline on 0844 888 0200 to buy your ticket