Lucy Bronze spoke of the England women’s hopes of making the most of being the hosts of next month’s Euros, with the team recently speaking with members of the men’s squad about their experiences last summer.
For the past two weeks, the Lionesses and their male counterparts – Euro runners-up a year ago after losing to Italy at Wembley – have been spending time at the St George’s Park camp.
England women are seeking glory at home this summer after reaching the semi-finals in their last three major tournaments.
Bronze – a member of the squad for each of those campaigns – commented on the pressure of the tournament ahead after it was announced that each of England’s group games and the Wembley final will be played to packed houses: “I think that the best and the biggest players I want to play with that, I want to play in those games, with the stadium full.
“And I think we try to see that as a lot of support. He’s our 12th man, hopefully.
“We saw what a difference it made for the men’s team last year and we actually spoke to a lot of them over the last week about their experiences and the difference it made, in some way. kind of being that home country – even though they technically weren’t, but they were.
“Obviously they made the final, so I think that’s something we kind of want to replicate and use that to our advantage.”
She added: “It’s a good vibe because I feel like both teams have gelled really well, which hasn’t really happened in the past. They’re just our peers and they see us the same way.”
Asked if she would just mirror England’s men’s achievements last summer, Bronze replied with a smile: “No, I wouldn’t settle for that – I wouldn’t take penalties, we would win the match in normal times!”
The 30-year-old – who is due to leave Manchester City when her contract expires in June – was speaking as Sarina Wiegman’s side had one of their last sessions as a 28-man provisional squad.
The squad is expected to be reduced to 23 for Wednesday’s tournament, a day before the side play the first of three warm-up matches, against Belgium at Molineux.
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Wednesday July 6
Group A: England v Austria – Kick off 8pm, Old Trafford
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway v Northern Ireland – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s
Friday July 8
Group B: Spain v Finland – Kick off 5.00pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany v Denmark – Kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Saturday July 9
Group C: Portugal vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Group C: Netherlands v Sweden – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Sunday July 10
Group D: Belgium v Iceland – Kick off 5.00pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Italy – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Monday July 11
Group A: Austria v Northern Ireland – kick off 5pm, St Mary’s
Group A: England v Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
tuesday july 12
Group B: Denmark v Finland – Kick off 5.00pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany v Spain – Kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden v Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands-Portugal – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy v Iceland – Kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
friday july 15
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick off 8pm St Mary’s
Group A: Austria v Norway – Kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16
Group B: Finland v Germany – Kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark v Spain – Kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday July 17
Group C: Switzerland v Netherlands – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden v Portugal – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday July 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy v Belgium – Kick off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-Final 2: Group B Winners v Group A Runners-up 8pm, London Community Stadium
friday july 22
Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-Final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
tuesday july 26
Semi-Final 1: Quarter-Final Winners 1 v Quarter-Final Winners 3 – Kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-Final 2: Winner Quarter-Final 2 v Winner Quarter-Final 4 – Kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners Semi-Final 1 v Winners Semi-Final 2 – Kick-off 5pm, Wembley