Dear 2022…

There will never be a year quite like 2022. Of that, I am quite certain.

As I sit here reflecting into the early hours of New Year’s Eve, I occasionally have to pinch myself to remember it happened. As with all memories, they fade to the point where they can sometimes feel like a dream. That’s what this year, and this summer in particular, really were…a dream.

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England v Norway, Euro 2022

Mead inspires England to sweep Norway away

It was a night beyond any England fans’ imaginations. Sitting in the stadium, soaking in the atmosphere after the final whistle, it was hard not be filled with wonder about what we had just witnessed. For Sarina Wiegman and her Lionesses had just produced one of the most stunning performances in the competition to sweep aside a nation that will have been considered one of the strongest.

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Germany v Denmark, Euro 2022

Marauding Germany stun Denmark in Group B opener

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s Germany side have at times slipped under the radar in the build-up to this tournament. A poor performance in the Arnold Clark Cup earlier this year – with the context of a heavily depleted squad – and a far from outstanding World Cup qualifying campaign have left fans and pundits alike wondering which team will show up.

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Guro Reiten, Norway v Northern Ireland, Euro 2022

Norway cruise past spirited tournament newcomers

It was a quintessential David and Goliath story as Norway and Northern Ireland kicked off their Euro 2022 at St. Mary’s on Friday evening. The tournament’s dark horses against the newcomers, making history with their inaugural major tournament. The result was perhaps predictable – Norway ran out 4-1 winners – but the moment belonged to Northern Ireland.

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England v Austria, Euro 2022

Lionesses edge past Austria in record breaking Old Trafford occasion

“Incredible. There are no more words. This is unbelievable,” lauded Sarina Wiegman as she sat in the press room after watching her England side open Euro 2022 at Old Trafford.

The same emotions will have been felt by many. Wednesday was a night like no other. The reception at the start, the booming renditions of Sweet Caroline, the 68,000 or so people singing and cheering along. It was one of those special moments, one to add to those events that imprint themselves in your memory for life.

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