England is ramping up their preparations ahead of this summer’s Euro 2017 women’s tournament, with the heartache suffered at the World Cup two years ago set to act as motivation.
The British country was knocked out of the 2015 World Cup in Canada at the semifinals stage, with a last-gasp Japanese goal ending the players dreams of making the competition final.
England continue to be one of the favorites to win Euro 2017 in the Netherlands with Betsson bookie, with the home nation boasting some excellent players.
Coach Mark Sampson has opened up about the heartache of losing in such dramatic fashion two years ago – but stated that the loss against Japan would motivate his star-studded side to go one step better this time around.
“That heartache we suffered in the World Cup absolutely will be a weapon we will use in this tournament,” The Telegraph quote him as saying.
“Whether it be the experience of it, the raw emotion, all of it will be there, I hope, to push us over the line.
“We’re in a much better spot than where we were in 2015, in every area. At the World Cup we had three players [Steph Houghton, Karen Bardsley and Lucy Bronze] selected for the team of the tournament.
“If we had three and we finished third, logic tells me we would need five or six in that final team to win. And I honestly believe we have that now.”
England has been drawn in Group D for the tournament and are heavy favorites to progress to the knockout stages – despite some tricky opponents to tackle.
The Three Lionesses tackle age-old rivals Scotland in the first game of the first round of group fixtures in Utrecht on July 19.
While England will fancy their chances of overcoming their British rivals, the Scots have a couple of players that could be potential match-winners.
Games against Spain in Breda and Portugal in Tilburg follow, with Sampson surely hoping his side can build up momentum before potential knock-out round fixtures.
Germany remain the team to beat as their form in recent years has been highly impressive, with the powerhouses currently top of the FIFA world rankings.
Other teams will fancy their chances of making it to the business end of proceedings, with the likes of France and Sweden set to be threats in the competition.
However, with England boasting plenty of players with lots of tournament experience and a number of promising younger stars coming through the ranks, Sampson’s side have all the ingredients to challenge for glory next month.
Article by Gareth McKnight from Sportslens.com.