England’s chances of winning next summer’s European Championship will increase greatly if they are the fittest team at the tournament, believes midfielder Jordan Nobbs.
Mark Sampson’s squad endured a five-day training camp at St. George’s Park last week – and the main reason for the get-together was fitness testing.
Speed and endurance tests were coupled with weights sessions in the gym although, with two Euro 2017 qualifiers remaining, there was still time to get out on the pitch for some training.
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
And Nobbs appreciates how important the last week of testing could be.
She said: “It gives us a benchmark to look at for the year ahead and it will let us know where we can improve and develop.
“Being the fittest and strongest team at the Euros can only help us achieve our goal of winning the tournament.
“It’s vital that we do these tests, for both physical and mental reasons because when you get tired during games it can affect your decision-making, so the fitter and stronger we are the better we’re going to be on the ball.”
Nobbs continued: “We know how many goals are scored in the last few minutes at major tournaments, and it just shows that you need to be mentally and physically strong to deal with that and make sure you’re in the game in the latter stages.
“It is such a key requirement. And it’s good to have a benchmark to work from – for example, do I need to develop my short-term speed or my long-term speed?”
The box-to-box midfielder out-performed her team-mates in an endurance drill that was, in layman’s terms, a hybrid of the more widely-recognised YoYo and bleep tests.
Nobbs’s superior stamina is something she prides herself on and she knows it an essential requirement of a modern day player.
She explained: “The endurance test is always the hardest one but it’s the one I always want to be the best at.
“I want to push myself as far as I can because you need that extra few per cent when you’re playing against some of the top players in the world.
“It is also a very tough test mentally. Your legs start to go but your head pushes you through because you know you need to catch that beep.
“It is tough but I actually like the endurance and aerobic tests because I am known as the runner of the team and I really like to push myself.”
Nobbs added: “It was a hard few days but we were all in it together. Everyone put in a big shift and did the best they could.”
The Lionesses qualified for the Euros by defeating Serbia 7-0 in June.
They are next in action on Thursday 15 September when they entertain Estonia at Meadow Lane. They will then take on Belgium away five days later in a match that could decide who tops Group 7.
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.
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.