The Birmingham captain Laura Bassett is not THE boss, she IS boss. Make any sense? Nope? Best left to Bass to speak for herself then, about games, goals & life in the England camp…
Well, we’ve been here two weeks now and I can only say that it’s absolutely flown by. We’ve been busy of course, but being based in Linkoping and not having to travel after every game has made it really easy for us to settle in. It really is beautiful here and just to able to walk over to the square and see the fan zone and meet friends and family is brilliant.
We all relax in different ways, some players like to stay in their room and watch a film, others prefer going for a walk or a swim in the lake, although that’s no good for me – I can’t swim! I find that getting away from the routine helps me and on Saturday me and Rachel Yankey my room mate went on a bike ride as a recovery session from the match on Friday night. Just to be able to cycle along the lakes and have a good look around was so relaxing.
I did some media work when I got back and people were asking me about playing in the Spain match and scoring my first England goal. I got an inkling that I might be starting in that game because of the way training had been going. When I knew for sure I was just really pleased because this is what you do all those hours of hard work and preparation for.
Looking totally natural here, reading some rag. (Catherine Etoe)
I wasn’t nervous when I got on the pitch, just looking round thinking yeah, this is what it’s all about. It was a beautiful night, beautiful stadium, we had a great set of English fans making it a noisy atmosphere and I thought let’s enjoy it.
But it’s easier said than done and conceding so early on put us on the back foot. I felt alright, it was good playing alongside Casey, Alex and having Jill and Neetz in front. We were trying to improve our communication and listen to each other and I felt everyone was growing into the game.
But we were getting frustrated because while we were trying to do the right things at the right time, we were often getting intercepted or making unforced errors. So half time came at a good time because we needed to regroup, vent those frustrations and make clear solutions.
The second half was a little better but then we were 2-1 down and I remember looking at the clock thinking there isn’t long left. When we got that corner we were like, right, settle down and concentrate, we could punish them here. Yanks and me chatted about it afterwards and the corner didn’t actually go into the area it was meant to, she’ll tell you she did it on purpose, but it actually went wider than expected.
Luckily, the ball just fell to me and I’m sure it came off my big toe!!!! All I could think was please get it on target and when it went in I was like, oh, I’ve never been here before! You can probably see in how I celebrated, I didn’t really know what to do, I just ran back to the position I’m used to. Having said all that and while it was nice to score, I’d take the goal away if it meant we could have taken something out of the game.
It was quiet in the changing room and on the coach afterwards. We were in a state of shock to be honest. We’d got ourselves back into the game and it got taken away in a single moment. Some players just listened to their music on the journey back to the hotel, some wanted to talk about it. I was quiet. Then we had a meeting when we got back and everyone said right, we can’t change it, let’s look forward to Monday. We can only be positive and learn from it and you all know England women, we never do it the easy way!
Speaking to my mum, dad and brother on the phone has helped as we head towards the Russia game, probably because they are involved yet detached enough to keep you focused. One person I haven’t been able to speak to much is my boyfriend Marc. He’s out in the wilds of Spain on a walking pilgrimage so I’ve just been getting the odd text off him. He did manage to get WiFi to work during the game on Friday though, so him and his mates were able to follow it on Twitter.
Me and Jill Scott are digital ambassadors for our clubs so Twitter is something I’m very used to using. We’ve a bit of a competition going on with our goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain at the moment though. Every time we go to put something on Facebook or Twitter Sio has beaten us to it first so we end up re-Tweeting her. She’s even beating us when it comes to photos, putting a fancy shade on them or a clever crop. Me and Jill just upload ours. I say to Jill look at what Sio‘s done, we are so last season. As far as I know, our mascot Trusty the Huskie hasn’t got a Twitter account so at least we don’t have to worry about competition from him. Not yet anyway, but we’ll keep you posted on that one – provided Sio doesn’t beat us to it first.
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