BIRMINGHAM City Ladies striker Ellen White believes England Women can start their global domination against Scotland tonight (Wednesday, 7.45pm), writes Molly Jennens.
“We want to be the best team in Europe, we want to be the best team in the world,” said White ahead of England’s 2017 Women’s European Championship opener in Holland.
The Lionesses face old foes Scotland in Group D’s Battle of Britain in Utrecht and the forward is relishing the pressure they face as they head into the tournament with the nation’s expectations on their shoulders.
After claiming a bronze medal and finishing as the top European team at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, England go into the competition as one of the favourites.
White said: “I think we want that pressure. Obviously coming third in the World Cup was a massive achievement for us, but that means we’ll have a lot of pressure coming to the Euros but we like that. We’re excited about that.
“That’s why we play football, that’s why we’re so proud to be an England player. We know the pressures but we’re excited to show what we’re about against Scotland and in the tournament.
“In football, there comes pressures and opinions but we’re excited about that, that’s our own doing and hopefully we can go one or two better.”
In order for England to go one or two further, they have got to get a positive result in order to get out of the group stages – starting against the Scots.
They come toe to toe at the Stadion Galgenwaard in their first meeting in any senior women’s tournament, with 2,000 England fans in Utrecht.
White, 28, added: “It’s going to be a really passionate game. The rivalry between England and Scotland is incredible over all sports but more so football.
“It’s going to be passionate and competitive and it’s our first game.
“We’ve got friends and family coming out, so we’ll have lots of support but we’re excited. We’re proud to be here and to play Scotland in our first game live on Channel 4 as well.
“We’re hoping all this preparation has us in good stead and will come to fruition when we start to play.”
White says that, although she does not have any superstitions that she follows in preparation for the game, she does always put on her kit from her right side.
“At the game, I normally put my right side on then my left side,” said the former Arsenal star.
“It’s going be a long day, we don’t kick off until 8.45pm local time, so we’ve kind of got a structured day when to eat and when to relax and stuff.
“It is an exciting day, match day is always exciting and we can’t wait to get to the stadium.”
England’s remaining Group D fixtures are against Spain on Sunday (7.45pm) and Portugal on Thursday, July 27 (7.45pm). The top two in each group progress to the quarter-finals.