England have been enduring fitness testing at St. George’s Park this week, and despite the aching muscles there is still only one thing on their minds – next summer’s European Championship.
Mark Sampson’s squad have made it to the finals with two qualifiers to spare and plans are already in place as they look to better the bronze medal they won at last year’s World Cup in Canada.
Those plans include being the strongest and fittest squad at the 16-team tournament, making this week of suffering all the more pertinent.
England v Estonia
UEFA Women's Euro 2017
Group 7 qualifier
7.05pm BST, Thursday 15 September 2016
Meadow Lane, Notts County
Tickets priced £7.50 adults, £3.50 children
Lionesses midfielder Jill Scott said: “This is a good opportunity for the girls to get together for a bit of team building.
“Weeks like this are crucial and we've had a lot of meetings. Things like this are important because we're not together every day like we are at our clubs.
“The facilities here are fantastic. The girls really enjoy their time training at St. George's Park, especially when the sun's out, although we have been made to work very hard.”
England qualified for the Euros by beating Serbia 7-0 in June.
They have two matches remaining, against Estonia in Nottingham on Thursday 15 September and then away to Belgium five days later.
Scott wants her team-mates to finish top of Group 7 and lay down a marker ahead of the finals.
She added: “The next two games coming up are still important because we want to top the group.
“We are starting to find that every game is hard because teams bank up against us because they know that we are playing well at the minute and we are moving the ball well.
🎥 Our #Lionesses put in the hard yards at @StGeorgesPark at the beginning of their week-long training camp 💪 https://t.co/npOQS8Zwwj— England (@England) 15 August 2016
“We want to top the group and go into the Euros on a high.
“More people are now watching the women's game and we want to play our part.
“We want to win things now, that's the next step for us.
“We're all on the same page and we're definitely moving in the right direction.”
The Euros will take place in Netherlands from 16 July to 6 August 2017.
The draw is on Tuesday 8 November in the Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam.
Tickets for the Estonia match are on sale now, priced £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children.
A family ticket is available, via phone booking only, priced £15 (two adults and two children) while group booking discounts apply.
Tickets can be bought via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 0115 955 7210.