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England prepares for 2015 Women’s World Cup journey


England’s women’s football team are stepping up their preparation for 2015 World Cup in Canada as they aim to win the competition for the first time ever.

The Lionesses were recently in action at Manchester City’s new academy stadium against China. Although it was less than convincing performance, they managed a 2-1 victory to extend their unbeaten run to five matches.

This was England’s last home game before the competition and head coach Mark Sampson will be naming the 23-player squad for the competition very soon but he has insisted there is still a chance for all 35 players in his current list to make the cut.

“There’s a lot of WSL [Women’s Super League] football to be played between now and the tournament, so players can play their way in – or potentially play their way out,” he said. “The players need to feel that pressure, to understand how important performance levels are between now and the tournament and make sure they’re in the best possible position to get selected.

“We’ve made it clear to them that they really have to push themselves. If you look at the history of England squads or World Cups in general, there’s always potentially someone there – look at Harry Kane – who’s come from nowhere to really stake a claim. If that’s the case it will be a huge bonus to us, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen.”

One of the players expected to make the final selection for the World Cup is Notts County’s striker Jess Clarke who has stated that England has got every chance to win the biggest prize in women’s soccer.

The 25-year-old’s next game for England will be her 50th and she has really come a long way since making her debut against South Africa in 2009 despite the hardship she faced at the start of her sporting career.

Jess, who is on “Road to Canada” sponsored by Continental Tyres, said of her early days in the sport and England’s chances in June: “I wouldn’t say my route into football was the easiest, I was brought up in a one parent home and from a young age I struggled to get to games.

“My Mum would be working and couldn’t come to pick me up. I didn’t want to ask anyone for help because I was embarrassed so sometimes I’d hide away, make sure everyone left, then go and catch my bus home.

“I think it just showed the determination and the hunger that I had to get where I want to be.

“It’s setbacks that truly make you the person you are. They define you and spur you on to be, not only the best athlete, but the best person you can be too.

“The pinnacle for me is representing my country and each cap makes me hungry for more. I’ve always felt like my Mum sacrificed her dream so that I could live mine, I think that’s why I’ve got that desire and that hunger.

“You have to create your own luck and I think if we do that then we stand every chance of winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015.”

Watch the video to learn more about Jess’s journey to the Women’s World Cup as well as that of the England women’s team.

Jess Clarke, Eniola Aluko and Toni Duggan are on the #RoadToCanada, supported by Continental Tyres.


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