Lucy Bronze has spoken about England Women’s hopes of making the most of being hosts at next month’s Euros, with the team having recently talked with members of the men’s side about their experiences from last summer.
The last couple of weeks have seen both the Lionesses and their male counterparts – Euros runners-up a year ago after defeat to Italy at Wembley – spending time in camp at St George’s Park.
England Women are seeking glory on home soil this summer after going as far as the semi-finals at their last three major tournaments.
Bronze – part of the team for each of those campaigns – commented on the pressure of the tournament ahead after news that each of England’s group games and the Wembley final will be played in front of a capacity crowd: “I think the best and biggest players want to play with that, want to play in those games, with the full stadium.
“And I think we’re trying to see it as just a lot of support. It’s our 12th man, hopefully.
“We saw what a difference it made to the men’s team last year and we’ve actually spoken to a lot of them in the past week about their experiences and what a difference it made, kind of being that home nation – even though they technically weren’t, but they were.
“Obviously they made the final so I think that’s something that we kind of want to replicate and use it to our advantage.”
She added: “It’s a nice atmosphere because I feel like both teams have gelled really well, which in the past I don’t think has really happened. They’re just our peers and they see us the same.”
When asked if she would settle for mirroring England men’s achievements last summer, Bronze said with a smile: “No, I wouldn’t settle for that – I wouldn’t take it to penalties, we’d win the game in normal time!”
The 30-year-old – who is due to leave Manchester City upon the expiry of her contract in June – was speaking as Sarina Wiegman’s side had one of their final sessions as a provisional 28-player squad.
The group is set to be cut to a final 23 for the tournament on Wednesday, a day before the team 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 vs Austria – kick off 8pm, Old Trafford
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway vs Northern Ireland – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s
Friday July 8
Group B: Spain vs Finland – kick off 5pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany vs Denmark – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Saturday July 9
Group C: Portugal vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Group C: Netherlands vs Sweden – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Sunday July 10
Group D: Belgium vs Iceland – kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Italy – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Monday July 11
Group A: Austria vs 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 vs Finland – kick off 5pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – kick off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy vs 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 vs Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16
Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday July 17
Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday July 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy vs 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: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A – kick off 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: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick off 5pm, Wembley