Hope Powell's Team GB women welcome attention on biggest stage

 

The Team GB women's footballers are enjoying their new-found fame. After two victories, one routine against New Zealand, the other excellent against Cameroon, they are already into the quarter-finals of the tournament. Tonight the play their most prestigious game at their most prestigious stadium: Brazil at Wembley. Victory would win them Group E and might well grant an easier quarter-final.

Clearly, the stage is not daunting for Hope Powell's team. The Team GB coach said yesterday evening that the players are revelling in their new attention. "They absolutely love it," Powell said. "Sometimes, if we want to beat the traffic, we're trying to pull them away from people who want to take photos. They are enjoying the adulation and why not. They manage themselves very well. We want to be accessible."

While there is likely to be a larger crowd than they are used to at Wembley, Powell insisted the players would be comfortable out there. "We've played in China, the English players have, in front of 60,000, and also as England we've played a European final against Germany in a packed stadium, so we are used to large crowds," she explained. "What we are not used to is playing at home, at Wembley, in front of a large crowd. But the girls like it. It doesn't stifle them, it encourages them."

Brazil will be a fiercer opponent than New Zealand or Belarus but Powell is looking forward to facing one of the world's great football nations. "They are always there or thereabouts in major tournaments and the style in which they play is very similar to the [Brazilian] men," Powell said. "We are looking forward to the challenge and experience. The good thing is we are in the quarter-finals regardless and we are playing to get, for want of a better word, an easier path, but no game at this level is easy."

The whole experience so far has been unambiguously positive and Powell hopes it continues in future. "It's a unique and surreal experience and if you can't enjoy it as a player or a member of staff, you shouldn't really be in sport," she said.

"It's just mind-blowing. If we have the opportunity to be involved again, absolutely I would say yes. I know there was some debate and I am not involved in the politics of it, but I'm really pleased we are in it, and if the opportunity presented itself again, I would give it the thumbs-up."

The women's team attended the men's 3-1 defeat of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday evening, and Powell revealed how pleased they were to meet David Beckham and Prince William. "They got the chance to meet Beckham and the prince and take pictures and they wished us good luck," said Powell. "David sent me a few emails of good wishes before, which I passed on to the girls, although I'm not sure they believed me. And then to actually meet him, they were absolutely made up. I think they combed their hair about a thousand times."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
science
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power