Jagielka 'proud as punch' of Mark Sampson's England team

Wednesday 21 Oct 2015
Phil Jagielka captained the Three Lions in Lithuania
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As England Women touched down in China on Tuesday night, their achievements were given a ringing endorsement by recent Three Lions captain Phil Jagielka.

Mark Sampson’s squad are in Chongqing for the CFA International Women’s Football Tournament, where they will take on the host nation and Australia over the next seven days.

And Jagielka, who led his country to victory over Lithuania earlier this month, believes the Lionesses’ success at this summer’s World Cup will only serve to get more girls interested in putting on a pair of boots.

England players celebrate after defeating Germany

Jagielka says he enjoyed watching England's success in the Women's World Cup this summer

He said: "I’ve seen how English women’s football has been doing and there has been a lot more investment into things.

"Everton have had success and won The FA Women’s Cup a few years back and some of those players have now gone on to other teams, like Manchester City, who have a purpose-built stadium. There’s a lot of money going into it.

"Watching the games at the World Cup over in Canada was exciting," he continued. 

"It’s always good to see an England team do well, whether that’s football, cricket or rugby, being a proud Englishman. But the women’s football was fantastic to watch and I was proud as punch that they did really well.

"If that paves the way for more girls to take up football then it’s brilliant."

One girl who is keen on a kickabout is Jagielka’s daughter, who watched Sampson's side in action this summer, and enjoys taking on her dad at home.

Jagielka said: "She’s into gymnastics but she comes out and plays with me and my son when we play in the back garden.

"She doesn’t play for a team or anything, but she joins in with us whenever she can. 

He added: "She enjoys playing which is the main thing. I want both my kids to play as many sports as they can."

England Women will take on China on Friday 23 October followed by Australia on Tuesday 27 October (both 9am BST kick-offs).

The Lionesses’ next home match is a Euro 2017 qualifier against Bosnia & Herzegovina at Bristol City FC on Sunday 29 November (3.30pm kick-off).

Tickets are on sale now priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £10 and group booking discounts apply.

Tickets can be purchased via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 01179 630 600.

Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson’s charges will entertain France at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 17 November. Tickets can be purchased via TheFA.com/Tickets.

By Glenn Lavery in Chongqing, China