Lionesses buoyed by World Cup thrill, says Greenwood

Wednesday 27 May 2015
Alex Greenwood made her England debut against Italy in March 2014

The thrill of playing in a World Cup is galvanising the England Women’s squad, says left-back Alex Greenwood.

Mark Sampson’s side arrived in Canada on Monday evening ahead of next month’s showpiece event.

They qualified in August last year with a 4-0 win over Wales in Cardiff. Since then they have played eight matches, including four at the Cyprus Cup in March, and survived a gruelling 10-day training camp at St. George’s Park.

Canada v England

A Women's International
Tim Hortons Field
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
7pm (Midnight BST) Friday 29 May 2015
Live on BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website

The Lionesses have one more assignment – a friendly match against the host nation on Friday night – before they begin their Group F campaign against France in Moncton on Tuesday 9 June.

But Greenwood believes the excitement of playing in a major tournament has inspired her team-mates.

She said: “We are going into a World Cup. If there isn’t a buzz among us there is something wrong.

“Of course we are all excited. In the past we were preparing for qualifiers or friendlies, but now our focus is all on the World Cup and that opening game against France.

“The preparation is near enough done. Everyone has got that buzz back. Now we just want it to start.”

At 21, Greenwood is the youngest member of the 23-strong party and she will be appearing in her first World Cup.

There are only four players with less than her tally of 12 caps, while at the other end of the scale there are four players with over 100 England appearances to their name.

The Notts County defender, who recently helped the Lady Pies reach The FA Women’s Cup Final, says this blend is vital if Sampson’s squad is to progress to the latter stages.

Greenwood added: “I think it helps having young players who have no fear alongside the more experienced players who can maybe bring us back down to earth at times, but also let us know what it’s going to be like.

“They’ve been there and done it before whereas some of us haven’t, so we will rely on them a lot over the next few weeks.

“But us younger players definitely have something to offer as well. We are hungry, we want to learn and we want to play in World Cups. Every player should.”

After the France match England take on Mexico on Saturday 13 June followed by Colombia on Wednesday 17 June.

England’s friendly with Canada will kick off at midnight (BST) on Friday 29 May and will be live on the BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website.

England reached the quarter-finals in each of their three World Cup appearances, in 1995, 2007 and 2011.

By Glenn Lavery In Toronto, Canada