As a website that actively supports women in sport we jumped at the opportunity tochat to the England Women Football Player Laura Bassett. Laura is the England National sides defender and we wanted to take the opportunity to speak to her about life and her footballing career, the journey and pride behind the England Women’s team reaching the tournament finals.
We also wanted to get Laura’s take on working with Vauxhall to celebrate the national team’s success through the #GetIN campaign.
Please tell us more about the #GetIN campaign. Does the crowd chanting lift you and motivate you during a game?
Vauxhall is really getting behind the Lionesses this summer with its #GetIN campaign – they’ve created special chants for each of us as well as a team chant to really rally support.
Chants mean a lot to us during matches – it’s a great feeling hearing your own name, there’s nothing like it to give an extra boost.
I love my chant, let’s hope the opposition’s attack is caught out! I think the England team chant is really catchy too, hopefully it will get people feeling patriotic!
When did you decide that you wanted to play football and what or who was your motivation?
My family were my main motivation growing up. My Mum and my Dad, as well as my four-year older brother who I was really competitive with growing up, it all helped me become the player I am today.
My family and also the fact that I get so much enjoyment out of playing football – having it as my full-time job is a dream and enough inspiration in itself!
What are the biggest misconceptions about women playing football, and does it bother you?
It is frustrating when people compare women’s football to the men’s game. It’s completely different – you shouldn’t compare the two directly. When people say, ‘it’s slow’ or ‘not as exciting’, it is disappointing – we’d encourage people to go to a live game and experience it for themselves – it’s a lot of fun and something the whole family can get involved in.
Tell us your routine for a typical day of training and how does it vary from preparation for a game?
Our training routines always include a balance of tactical practice – a couple of hours on the pitch, followed by preparation for specific muscles to prevent injuries, and then a session in the gym. We work really closely with our sports scientists and physios and each player has a programme designed for individual needs.
When we’re not training, recovery is just as important – lots of ice, stretching and foam rolling.
I like to prepare for a match by being as chilled as possible. Knowing that all the preparation has already been done, it’s about mentally preparing and making sure I’m in the right zone.
Women’s football has been taking great strides forward recently – how are you keeping the momentum going, how is the message getting out to schools, youth groups to encourage more girls/young women to get involved in the sport?
There are some great initiatives by the FA – like the new Wild Cats programme which looks to encourage girls to go and try out training sessions themselves and get them involved in the game.
We’re very aware of the fact that as players, we have a responsibility to be good role models and embrace this responsibility. Qualifying for the Euros has helped this, and hopefully being successful in the tournament will too!
Have you anything to say to people that are reading this on getting involved?
I’d just really encourage people to give it a go!
Not just getting behind the England team this summer, but trying football too. There are tons of ways to get involved – from five a side, walking football to more skill-based (tricks and flicks) games, There’s even classes with football moves to music. There’s much more than you think!
For the tournament itself, it’d be great to see people making matches an experience for the whole family. Enjoy the excitement leading up to the game – the entertainment, the food and drinks – it’s much more than just the 90 minutes!
What next for you and the England Team?
After the Euros we go straight into our qualification campaign for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held in France. We play Russia first in September.
Finally, do you have a favourite Football chant?
The Will Griggs on Fire chant was stuck in my head for days! I’m hoping our team chants have the same effect – I love the one Kirsty Gallacher created for me!
Well here's wishing the England Lioness' success in their campaign and into the World Cup.