Five Liverpool Ladies stars will be hoping for glory when the Women’s European Championship takes place in the Netherlands, with the action starting next weekend.
Host nation Netherlands, featuring the Reds dynamic winger Shanice van de Sanden, kick-off the tournament on Sunday July 16 when they take on Norway.
England Women, containing goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain, centre-half Casey Stoney and left-back Alex Greenwood, start their campaign with an eagerly-anticipated encounter with Caroline Weir’s Scotland on July 19. Portugal and Spain are also in England’s group.
The Women’s Euro 2017 final is in Enschede on Sunday August 6.
Ahead of the tournament we got the views of the five Liverpool Ladies players who are all eager to impress on the big stage:
Shanice van de Sanden:
“I’m really proud to represent the Netherlands and my family is proud as well. I’m really looking forward to the Euros and we can’t wait for it to start. We are in a tough group with Norway and Belgium. I really enjoy these tough games and our first game is against Norway so we will see what happens. The atmosphere will be amazing and you will see a lot of orange with the supporters in the stadium. I think we have a good chance in the Euros because we have a good squad, and I have heard other countries talking about us in interviews saying we have got a good squad. I have a lot of confidence we will have a good tournament."
“It’s a really exciting tournament and we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to do really well. We’ve got a great squad of players and a lot of them have been flying during the Spring Series for their clubs which is great. There should be a great atmosphere because in Holland football is their culture and we will also have a lot of supporters cheering on England, so the atmosphere should be amazing.”
“It’s an exciting time for English women’s football because I really feel we can go to the Euros and do something special. It’s always going to be difficult, especially when we play Scotland in our opening game because they don’t like us! That adds a little bit of spice to the game and we just need to make sure we take care of our preparation and get it right.
“I’ve had a few words with Caroline Weir and tried to get a few things out of her about Scotland but she is keeping quiet! I know she’s excited and she has been playing very well, so I’m hoping she dips her form in the summer and then comes back to her best form with Liverpool again! Spain are a very good technical team who are capable of beating us and Portugal are a team we haven’t played for a long time. We need to win our group to give us a chance in the tournament.
“There’s a real belief in our group and I think winning the bronze medal in the Women’s World Cup did that. We’ve grown and grown since then and there is definitely a belief in the group that we can go all the way. There are some fantastic teams in this tournament like France and Germany who are always up there."
“I'm confident and I know the team is confident. We have to be realistic and at this present moment we are still in the building phase getting to where we need to be. We've got a lot of tasks that we need to tick off the list to be ready for gold in the summer but we're on track, we're doing really well, the players are fit and strong and we'll go into the next couple of weeks and nail things down week by week in terms of what we want to achieve and then go to Holland with the aim of bringing home the trophy. I don't see why we can't do that. The talent in that England squad is more than capable of matching everyone in Europe at the moment.
“We were saying the other day that it's ridiculous how close our opening game against Scotland is now. I'm looking forward to playing against Scotland. It's a derby and you can forget talent – that goes out of the window on that day it's about who wants to win the game the most. There's not been too much banter with Caz [Weir] but we've thrown a few things her way!
“Caz is a brilliant player and I'm sure that she will have a big influence in their squad in the Euros and I hope they do really well but just not in that first game! It's a great way for us to start the tournament and an incentive for the fans to come out and watch it and be entertained by a derby and see a fantastic game full of talented players.”
“It’s exciting and I can’t wait for the first game against England. It’s always going to be tough because it’s a top tournament with some great teams in it but we are hoping we can give a good account of ourselves.
"To play England in our first game will be a great occasion and it will be exciting to come up against my Liverpool teammates in Siobhan, Alex and Casey. From a Scotland point of view we won’t look too far ahead. We are happy to be in the Euros and we want to show we deserve to be there and put in some good performances.”