It is the second day of the European Championships in Amsterdam and England will open their campaign against Ireland. The girls will be eager to get underway after being at the preparation camp since Monday. It doesn’t seem that long, but when you travel to competition the majority of work has all been done so you just want to get playing. Although, the week leading up to competition is a tapering phase so the lighter load does come with a warm welcome to refresh the legs!
It will be a tough opening game as Ireland are a very hard working team and they bring a lot of flight and desire to all their matches. They aren’t afraid of the big games and play with confidence, looking to break lines with their quick and skillful players in midfield. They won’t interchange as much as other nations but like to link up with each other and enjoy the attacks. We recently played them in the World League semi finals, which we narrowly won 3-2. Some players to look out for #22 Nikki Daly, #10 Shirley McCay and their captain #9 Katie Mullan.
England will certainly need to be wary of their key players and be disciplined in defence however the opportunity for us when we get the ball on the attack will be exciting. We have an incredibly fast midfield and forward unit that are creative and can eliminate lines meaning we can get in behind the defence. We will need to balance this part of our game with good elements of control too as if we are poor with the ball and the play becomes disjointed and so called “Ping-Pong” this will kindly play into the Irish hands and make the game more of a struggle and battle. I back our varied game, tactical awareness and team understanding and this game will be a great challenge for us to show this.
To watch the game you can tune into BT Sport 3 at 1.30pm GMT, the girls would love your support and you really make a difference. GOOD LUCK GIRLS!!