As I was writing this particular part of my blog I was sat in Cyprus with England sat in my room with my roomie Steph Houghton, listening to some old school music. Our view was pretty average, (sarcasm) we looked out onto the beach, sea, and palm trees. It was amazing to be out in Cyprus with England, and it was great to be training and playing football to be honest. Along with the beautiful out look, we also had some very cute cats running about outside our hotel (I’m very much a cat lover).
Whilst in Cyprus we played 5 games, a friendly against South Korea which we won 2v1 and definitely gave us all confidence going into the tournament. Our first group game was against Finland, a tough opposition who many of the girls had faced in 2009 in the Euro’s. We ended the game with a 3v1 win and definitely had lots of positives from the game and also things we could build on as well.
We played Switzerland in our second game, I’m sure quite a few of you will remember us playing the Swiss in our World Cup play off. They had nothing to lose, so we knew it would be a hard game. It was a tight match and we were glad to get the win (1v0), which meant we had played three and won three going into our last group match against France.
In between our 2nd and 3rd match we were able to have a day off, where we went out for lunch, and then went into Larnaca to have a look around some shops and for most of the team to find a ‘Starbucks.’ Haha! A lot of the other teams in the tournament were also out shopping and Steph and I were able to meet up with our arsenal teamies Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie who were in Cyprus playing for Scotland.
Our 3rd game was against France, the team who knocked us out of the World Cup last summer. It was a huge game, not only for us to get a bit of revenge but also if we won it would mean we would progress into the final of the Cyprus Cup. It was a tough match and I think we were all disappointed to have lost the match by 3 goals to nil. However we can come away from the game knowing we are not far away from these teams and on our day we still know we can beat the best teams.
Our fourth and final game was against Italy who we played last year in Cyprus. We eventually lost the match 3v1, and ended up coming 4th in the tournament. To be honest I think overall it was a good tournament for the whole team, as it gave all players minutes on the pitch and also acted as fitness and enabling us all to get a bit more sharper and fitter on the back of our pre-seasons with our clubs. It’s always amazing to be selected for your country and to be able to play against World Class teams and players and really test yourself against them.
Since arriving back from Cyprus, our season with Arsenal has really kicked off with playing FA Cup, WSL Continental Cup and Champions League games. We have now progressed into the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League where we beat Lincoln and Everton as well as beating a Swedish team, Gothenburg. It’s been great to be back playing games for Arsenal and we are all really pushing one another as we really want to win everything this year. All the girls are lovely (well some of them are, he he) so it’s always a nice atmosphere at training and we tend to have a lot of banter, especially on away trips.
As it has been pretty hectic with football lately, when we get a free day or a little bit of time, it’s always nice to go back home and spend some time with my family. It’s awesome to see my little niece growing up so quickly and literally talking non stop, she’s definitely a genius child (doesn’t get it from me) but I’m hoping she’s going to be a little footballer when she’s older. :D!!
Anyway I apologise for talking excessively, but I just wanted to again thank everyone who voted for the fans England player of the year. I am extremely honored and proud to have won the award. Thank you again. And I hope you like the photos, just a little insight. :D!!
© Ellen White / WomensSoccerUnited.com