Four years after her shock exclusion from England's European Championship squad, Rachel Yankey will this week head into the Women's Euro 2013 finals as the country's record caps holder and with what she feels is her best chance of lifting a trophy in her sixth major international tournament.
The 33-year-old winger, who last week passed Peter Shilton's record of 125 appearances in a 1-1 draw with Japan, has thrived since returning to the squad during the 2011 World Cup campaign and believes that England – runners-up to Germany in Euro 2009 – have what it takes to win the top prize.
Yankey does not claim that Hope Powell's team will have the best players on show in the 12-nation tournament that they begin in Linkoping on Friday. The key is the camaraderie that has been established during an unbeaten qualifying campaign.
"We've got a really good team right now," Yankey said. "But with 23 players in the squad it's about Team England, and the tipping point of your team is the togetherness and the support that you give each other. We've got that in abundance, and we've got to use it as a strength."
Yankey is one of seven players with over 80 caps in what is the most experienced squad that England have taken to a World Cup or European Championship. And after missing out on Euro 2009, she feels that this could be her moment as Powell's team look to lift what would be a first major trophy.
"I feel that this is probably my best chance, although hopefully not my last, to win a trophy with England," she said. "I've won everything I can win at club level, including the Champions League, but it would be the pinnacle of my career to win a big tournament for my country."
England's Group C fixtures Friday, Spain; 15 July, Russia; 18 July, France.Reuse content