“Relentless”, “attacking” and “exciting” were just a few of the words Gemma Davies, England U19s manager, used to describe her group of players on the eve of their first international championship. They showed these characteristics in abundance in a winning opening display – a 4-1 victory against Norway – that will have instilled a huge amount of confidence in this young side.
We’re used to managers and players playing down big or notable fixtures. “It’s just another game” they’ll say, “We’ll focus on ourselves”. But there is no denying that tomorrow’s friendly is going to be something special with it being the first time that England manager, Sarina Wiegman, will face her old side and homeland, the Netherlands.
In football, as in life, things have a habit of coming full circle. On the eve of England’s second international friendly against the Netherlands, Rachel Daly is facing the prospect of receiving her 50th cap at the home of the club that has played such an integral part of her life.
With three weeks before the European Championships begin, it was decision day for Sarina Wiegman as she narrowed down her England squad from 28 to 23. A hard task for any manager but particularly one who is so in the spotlight ahead of a home Euros.
If it feels like we’ve been here before, then you are right. But once again, we can say…500 days to go! Euro 2022 is starting to become a very real and exciting prospect. Sitting in Wembley this time last year, listening to the plans for the tournament, it was hard not to be enthusiastic about the upcoming competition. And now, after the toughest of years, the sight of this celebration of the women’s game on the horizon is anticipated more eagerly than ever.