Bristol Academy captain Corinne Yorston has given the new England Women’s Head Coach, Mark Sampson, a glowing reference.
Sampson, who was named as Hope Powell’s successor in December, has taken his maiden squad to La Manga for their annual warm-weather training camp and this year there is the added incentive of a friendly match against Norway to end the week.
And having played under her now national team boss with Bristol, Yorston is better placed than most to assess the 31-year-old’s credentials.
She said: “He’s a really passionate guy, really determined, really ambitious, really motivated and I know he’ll try and instil that into the players.
“He wants a good togetherness, a good team spirit, wants everyone to give their all and work really hard in every minute - on the training field and in a match.
“I know they are the fundamentals that he’ll be wanting to bring to the squad.
“Alongside that, his tactical and technical knowledge is amazing. I don’t know anyone that knows so much about the game as him.
“He’s got so much to give to the squad and I’d say it’s been a great start for the squad this week and it’s going to be an exciting few years.”
Yorston’s last England appearance came against Iceland in 2009 but, after marshalling the Vixens to two FA Women’s Cup Finals and a highest-ever second-place finish in The FA WSL, the 30-year-old is delighted to be back in the fold.
Watch England's training session from Wednesday in La Manga.
Yorston added: “I’m really excited to be back.
“It has been a few years, there’s been a change in the management, he’s brought new players in and it’s just great to be involved now.
“It’s a very relaxed and fun environment. We’ve been having fun and enjoying playing football again. It’s a really good atmosphere.”
The six-day camp will be brought to a close with a testing international against the Euro 2013 runners-up, ranked eighth in the world by FIFA.
But Yorston believes it is an ideal game for Sampson to begin his tenure.
She said: “It will be an extremely tough game. That’s what you want, though, to be playing opponents like that.
“Obviously it’s just the start with Mark and Marieanne [Spacey, Sampson’s assistant manager] coming in so I’m sure they won’t expect everything to go perfectly.
“But they’ll be looking for certain things to happen in the game.
“It will be tough. There will be [new] players involved or players that haven’t played together for a while, or if at all.
“There will be a few new tactics in there, but I’m sure everyone will give their all and I’m sure there will be a lot of positive things to come out of the game.”