Fara Williams put her life on hold to ensure she would be a part of Mark Sampson’s World Cup plans.
The 31-year-old midfielder was named in the England Women’s squad for this summer’s showpiece in Canada earlier this week.
But despite travelling to two previous World Cups – and being her country’s most-capped player of all-time – Williams never took her place for granted and did everything in her power to ensure her name was on the list.
Williams said: "When you’re younger you obviously have more time on your hands and more chances of being selected if you were to miss out.
"When I was younger, in the back of my head I knew that if I missed out on a World Cup or a Euros there would be another one round the corner.
"But for this one, I have trained harder than I ever have. I really have done all the right things.
"I sacrificed socialising with friends and family to put myself in the best possible place to be selected.
"I did everything I could, but the nerves were certainly there before I got the phone call. I was more nervous this time than before any previous call-up.
"But I’m as mentally and physically prepared as I’ve ever been."
A veteran of China 2007 and Germany 2011, as well as three European Championships and an Olympic Games, Williams has experienced her fair share of tournament football in her 14-year international career.
She scored England’s first goal in the last World Cup, in a 1-1 draw with Mexico, and knows the importance of avoiding defeat in the opening group game of a major finals.
First up for the Lionesses is France (Tuesday 9 June), followed by Mexico (13 June) and Colombia (17 June).
And Sampson has assembled his 23-player squad at St. George’s Park, the national football centre, for a pre-World Cup training camp.
Williams added: "We need to get out of the group first and foremost so we’ll be aiming to get off to a solid start against France.
"We’re all in camp now, working hard towards that opening game and we know we’ve got a busy few weeks ahead of us, but that’s what it’s all about.
"We are working towards a World Cup. That’s the pinnacle."
England fly to Canada on Monday 25 May and they will take on the host nation in a friendly in Hamilton, Ontario on Friday 29 May.