by Glenn Lavery
Thursday, 25 November, 2010
Lucy Staniforth wants to use France game as a Euro springboard.
Tickets are priced £3 for adults and £1 for concessions
You can read more from Lucy Staniforth in the matchday programme
When England line up to face France at Sixfields, revenge will not be the only motivating factor for Lucy Staniforth. Although the Lincoln Ladies midfielder wasn’t a part of the Three Lions team that lost in last season’s Euro Final, she has more than one reason to want to beat Jean-Michel Degrange’s side.
Staniforth missed out on the Euros due to a calf injury, forcing her to watch that defeat from her sofa, and she views Thursday night’s friendly as the first step to making it to next year’s Finals and reclaiming the title England won in 2009.
“I watched the Final at home and I really felt the girls’ pain, so it would be nice to beat them at Northampton,” she said.
“But looking ahead, the first round of European qualifiers in September were really encouraging. We had a few new players in that squad and they settled in very well. Because we’ve got quite a few younger players we can only get better, which has got to be a good thing, and I’m now excited about the next round.
“If we can get a good result against the French that will set us up nicely for next year and then we are just one step away from another Finals appearance. That’s where we all want to be.”
Staniforth is one of the most experienced members of the squad and has enjoyed learning from Head Coach Mo Marley (“one of the best managers I’ve ever worked under”) so much so that she feels she is now in a position to counsel the younger players and wants the team to grow together.
“I try and set the best example that I can on and off the pitch,” she said. “It’s a really good learning process for all the young girls coming through. We’ve all been in their shoes before so it’s good to be able to pass that on. I’ve only played against France as an U17 so it will be good to face them at this level to see where we are as a team.
“They are the sort of side we need to be playing against to test ourselves. We have played good teams – Finland gave us a good game in Moldova in September – but we really need to test ourselves against a top quality side like the French.
“They have got some really good, technical players, so it will be a difficult game. They are the European Champions so they are going to come at us and it should be quite interesting.”