BETHANY England is delighted to be part of what she hopes will be another thrilling summer for English football as the Lionesses compete for the European Championship on home soil from next week.
The 28-year-old striker from Kingstone is in Sarina Wiegman’s England squad for the tournament which begins on Wednesday.
It will be the pinnacle of a career that began with Junior Tykes then saw her work at a fish and chip shop in Barnsley, a bakery and Marks and Spencers while making her name at Doncaster Belles then moving to Chelsea where she has won multiple trophies and become a regular in the national team.
England told the Chronicle: “It’s going to be amazing.
“It will be my first proper tournament with England.
“To play at packed-out stadiums in an unbelievable atmosphere, will make it a special and momentous summer.”
The women’s team are hoping to follow their male compatriots who enthralled the country as they reached the Euros final for the first time last summer, playing their games at Wembley, before losing on penalties to Italy.
Bethany said: “I went to some of the men’s games last summer as a fan.
“The atmosphere was electric so I am praying and hoping we get the same.
“Women’s football deserves this moment and to get the same support as the men had.”
England are among the favourites for the tournament.
They have never won it but reached the final in 1984 and 2009.
Bethany said: “It would be the best achievement of my career – to win a trophy with my country at home in one of the biggest tournaments.
“We know we have a team that can compete with anyone but there are a lot of good sides so we just need to be at our best in every game and see how far we go.”
Bethany started up front as England played a warm-up match on Friday evening against the champions Netherlands at Elland Road and won 5-1.
She then scored in a 4-0 win over Switzerland on Thursday, her ninth England goal in 18 caps.
England are due to start their group games against Austria at Old Trafford on Wednesday from 8pm.
They then take on Norway at Brighton and Hove Albion’s ground on July 11 and Northern Ireland in Southampton on July 15. There will then be quarter-finals and semi-finals before a final at Wembley on July 31.
All the matches are due to be broadcast on the BBC.