Women’s Euro: England striker Alan White leads Sue Smith on to her record-breaking career

17 Aug 2022 | 08:40 | Football

With the Women’s European Championship looming, the Lionesses are looking to make an international impact on their turf. But before that, Alan White, one of England’s iconic players in women’s football, met Sky Sports’ Sue Smith at her old grounds at William Harding Primary School in Aylesbury.

Before she became England’s women’s record goalscorer – she scored in her 101st game against Latvia earlier this season – the Manchester City star was ready to break boundaries and social stereotypes. Be the player you are today.

In an era when there was no women’s soccer team or league to nurture any young women’s aspirations, White was introduced to soccer by her father, Jon, who ran a soccer academy called the Mini Ducks.

England's Alan White celebrates scoring against Germany
Ellen White talks to Sue Smith about her football career from the playground to the Euros

Although she was the only girl, it helped her gain the enthusiasm and confidence to join the primary team and then into the boys’ team at Aylesbury United. Rumour has it that she scored over 100 goals before being spotted by Arsenal scouts at the age of eight.

“I started playing football in the garden with my dad and my siblings,” White told Sky Sports’ Sue Smith made 93 appearances for England. “Growing up there wasn’t really a football center, so that’s when my dad started Mini Ducks.

“As far as playing football in the garden, my brother has made a big impact. He is older than me but still likes to play and I used to go to see him.

”As the baby in the house, I take it everywhere, so I get a lot of my qualities from them; work hard, play football, enjoy it. “

‘I was told I would never play for England’

Millie Bright and Alan White celebrate England's victory over Germany
Alan White became England’s record goalscorer last season

When White started her career, she faced criticism. Not many are used to the idea of ​​a female football star, even with the support of her teammates and family.

“When I was a little younger, on the men’s team, I remember a lot of parents asking, ‘Is that a girl on the women’s team? What happened?’ Bai said.

“When you’ve grown up a little bit in our skill set, the pressure to win and want to do well can keep coaches from picking you, and I think it has to do with the nature of the sport.”

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But, at 16, the ambitious England hopes were dealt a devastating blow, despite negative reviews and a few games off the bench.

“I want to be at Loughborough College when I’m 16,” White said. “I was told then that I would never play for England because I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t know what to do.

“That was when I transferred. I went to a completely different sixth year, from Arsenal to Chelsea, and I was totally out of my comfort zone. I just tried something different – I think it worked for me helpful!”

Creating a legacy for club and country

Alan White (left), Stephen Horton (centre) and Jessica Beatty lift the Women's FA Cup in 2011
Ellen White was part of the team that won the Women’s FA Cup with Arsenal in 2011

This seems to work for White. After joining Chelsea in 2005, White scored 21 goals in 48 appearances, making her the top scorer in her three seasons at Chelsea.

Her move to Leeds Carnegie in 2008 was hampered by a ligament injury, but she returned at the end of the 2008/09 season, scoring five goals in four appearances.

Since then, White has not looked back, and in the following season she helped Leeds win the Women’s League Cup, scoring twice in the final in a 3-1 win over Everton.

Ellen White in training
Ellen White will play in her sixth major tournament this summer

In February 2010, a 20-year-old White made her England debut – four years earlier she was told she would never play for her country. After coming off the bench, she won 3-1 against Austria.

White started a record-breaking international career but returned to Arsenal in 2010. Not only did she score 6 goals in 13 appearances in her first season, but she eventually helped the Gunners win the FA Cup, League Cup and Women’s Championship. Premier League trophy. She went on to win another title and the FA Cup under manager Laura Harvey.

White went on to make her name in the England Women’s Hall of Fame, even making her World Cup debut in 2011 with a 22-yard shot against Japan.

Over time, she continued her success in England, winning Cyprus (2013), SheBelieves (2019) and the Arnold Clark Cup (2022).

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However, all these achievements pale in comparison to her performances at the 2019 World Cup, where she played a key role in England’s progress to the semi-finals. White scored six goals in the game, making her a joint top scorer.

But looking back on her illustrious career, White admits she never thought she’d be playing for England, saying: “I never thought I was good enough. I was drafted into the youth division, but I never thought I would be. Be a Senior.” International.

“I think when it did happen, it took me by surprise.”

“I still find it weird when you call me a role model”

England's Alan White poses with fans during training at St George's Park in Burton upon Trent.
England recently welcomed players from grassroots teams to St George’s Park for training

White’s performances for club and country have helped Leeds United, Arsenal, Manchester City and England achieve success and in doing so will certainly help inspire other women to pursue careers in football.

After 17 years of goals and trophies, White may not be done, and expectations are high for Salina Wegman’s England team ahead of this summer’s home Euro.

With England’s group stage sold out – further evidence of growing support for women’s football – White said: “It still feels weird when you call me a role model. I feel like it’s a huge responsibility And privilege. At the same time people kind of respect me.

“The Euros are in England and all our group games are sold out, it’s so exciting. Hopefully the fans can easily watch the game. Showed off some incredible talent and I hope there’s another surge of people who want it Get involved in football. I really want everyone to get involved.

When England start their Euro Cup against Austria at Old Trafford on July 6, it will come as no surprise to see White carry on her legacy once again.

Follow Euro 2022 on Sky Sports

Keep up with all the latest Euro 2022 news on Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.

Reporting will be moderated by Sky Sports WSL host Caroline Barker along with Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will be analysing throughout the game.

They will also be joined by veteran England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.

The pundits and presenters will work on the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 mobile demo bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team across the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.

Additionally, from June 21st, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be renamed the Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong lineup of programming around the tournament.

Euro 2022: Groups…

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

Euro 2022: The fixtures…

group matches

Wednesday, July 6

Group A: England vs Austria – Kick-off 8pm, Old Trafford

Thursday, July 7

Group A: Norway vs Northern Ireland – 8pm, St Mary’s

Friday, July 8

Group B: Spain vs Finland – Kick-off 5pm, MK Stadium

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 at Bramall Lane at 8pm

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 11 July

Group A: Austria vs Northern Ireland – 5pm start, St Mary’s

Group A: England v Norway – Kick-off 8pm, Brighton & Hove Community Stadium

Tuesday 12 July

Group B: Denmark vs Finland – Kick-off 5pm, MK Stadium

Group B: Germany vs Spain – Kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Wednesday 13 July

Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – Kick-off at Bramall Lane at 5pm

Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – Kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village

Thursday 14 July

Group D: Italy vs Iceland – Kick-off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium

Group D: France vs Belgium – Kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium

Friday 15 July

Group A: Northern Ireland v England – Kick-off at St Mary’s Stadium at 8pm

Group A: Austria vs Norway – Kick-off 8pm, Brighton & Hove Community Stadium

Saturday 16 July

Group B: Finland vs Germany – Kick-off 8pm, MK Stadium

Group B: Denmark vs Spain – Kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Sunday 17 July

Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – Kick-off at Bramall Lane at 5pm

Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – Kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village

Monday 18 July

Group D: Iceland vs France – Kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium

Group D: Italy vs Belgium – Kick-off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium

knockout stage

quarter final

Wednesday 20 July

Quarter-finals 1: Group A winners vs. Group B runners-up – Kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Thursday 21 July

Quarter-finals 2: Group B winners vs. Group A runners-up – Kick-off at London Community Stadium at 8pm

Friday 22 July

Quarterfinals 3: Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up – Kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village

Quarterfinals 4: Winner Group D v Runner-up Group C – Kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium


Tuesday 26 July

Semi-Final 1: Winner Quarter-Final 1 v Winner Quarter-Final 3 – Kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane

Wednesday 27 July

Semifinals 2: Winners Quarterfinals 2 v Winners Quarterfinals 4 – Kick-off 8pm, MK Stadium

at last

Sunday 31 July

Winner Semi-Final 1 v Winner Semi-Final 2 – Kick-off 5pm, Wembley

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