Right-back Alex Scott has been a constant when it comes to the England Women’s team over the past decade.
The Arsenal defender is regularly one of the first names in the first eleven, never mind the squad itself, but Scott says she was as nervous as she’s ever been when waiting for her phone call.
The 30-year-old is one of the most experienced players in the squad, has already played in two World Cups for her country and will certainly be in the team when England line up against France next month.
She had a chat with us after the squad announcement about her feelings ahead of the tournament…
Firstly, congratulations! How are you feeling? Excited? Relieved?
Excited AND relieved.
This it now, we’re all here and it’s real, the 23 players we’re all focusing on together and we go into this two week camp to push on as a team.
Is it a different feeling to the first time you were told you’d be going to a World Cup?
It feels all new again! There are a lot of new players and it’s Mark’s first tournament too so it all feels really fresh. But the new girls had a taste of it at the game at Wembley, they’ve been to youth tournaments so they know what it’s all about.
What are you most looking forward to?
Just getting out there now it’s all announced. I was nervous as hell getting my call despite people telling me I was guaranteed a spot.
I remember sitting down with Mark about a year ago, he set me targets to achieve so I’m just happy I’ve been able to get myself in the squad. I just want to go out there, relax and play good football.
Surely certain players have an idea they’ll be in the squad though?
Maybe, it’s weird, I never take anything for granted, I never assumed anything until Mark told me I was in the squad, never mind the team!
Mark said it was about getting the right people as well as the right players, do you feel you’ve got that?
Yeah, and you need that! You’re away for a long time, there are quieter characters who you can take under your wing and you’ve got the bubbly ones who can keep team spirits high and give everyone a lift. If you lose a game you need something like that!
So how do you feel personally going into the tournament?
I feel good!
In terms of fitness I’m as fit as I’ve ever been! I should be wavering out but I’m not, I feel rejuvenated and excited under Mark and I’m looking forward to being a part of this team.
France are your first opponents, is there a bit of extra motivation there after 2011?
I think it will push us on, we’ve got a history against them. We beat them in France in 2007 and then they knocked us out in 2011 so there’s been a bit of rivalry there.
But like I said, everything feels new now and I think that history has been wiped, we go into it thinking we can beat anyone.
The FA WSL is mega competitive now and almost every team is represented in the squad, it really shows how quick things are developing doesn’t it?
I think if you speak to Mark, he’d tell you this 23 was so hard to pick because the competition is huge, but that pushes everybody on and brings the best out of everyone.
If you’re not working hard, somebody else will be and they’ll take your place.
And especially at Arsenal, you’ve got some great young players, the likes of Jemma Rose, Danielle Carter, Leah Williamson and Carla Humphrey, the future for England can be really bright can’t it?
The young girls coming through, they’re so confident and they really believe in themselves. It’s not arrogance, they just have belief in their own ability and that’s really important. When I went to the USA, they had that mentality, you definitely need that and it’s good for them to hear it from us sometimes too!
Follow Rich on Twitter @RichJLaverty