Published 17 September 2021 2 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Leah's 'biggest honour'

Written by:

Rachel Steinberg

Stand-in captain Leah Williamson and new boss Sarina Wiegman reflect on a big win to kick-off new campaign
England Women's stand-in captain Leah Williamson has spoken of her pride at leading out the Lionesses to face North Macedonia under new boss Sarina Wiegman.

The Arsenal ace was handed the armband on the day of the game, after regular skipper Steph Houghton was forced to withdraw from the squad after picking up an injury in training.

And Williamson stepped up to the mark in style, playing her part in a resounding 8-0 victory at Southampton FC's St. Mary's Stadium in what was the first women's senior home game in front of a crowd since November 2019.

“Obviously this is probably the biggest honour in football," admitted Williamson.
 
"I’ve told you a million times how much I love playing for my country, how proud I am to be English, so it was very special. 
 
“I’m really happy that the fans were here and that my family were able to be here as well, because it’s probably just as important for them as it is for me. It’s been a really great day and obviously leading the team out will probably be the biggest honour of my life.” 
Sarina Wiegman with goalscorer Ellen White after England's 8-0 victory over North Macedonia
Sarina Wiegman with goalscorer Ellen White after England's 8-0 victory over North Macedonia
And the Lionesses' new boss Wiegman was also happy with aspects of her team's work while also looking for more, as the road to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand got off to a strong start.
 
“I’m very pleased, very nice atmosphere and a great stadium here," said Wiegman.
 
"It was a very nice atmosphere, with fans around and a very energetic team on the pitch and a win of 8-0. I’m very pleased. 
 
“I think the performance was okay, it was good, we wanted to create a lot of chances and I think we have. We scored eight – well, actually we scored six, they scored two, but I think we should have scored lots, lots more goals.  
 
“We should've been a little better in the final third, just the final decision, the final touch to score a goal. But we scored eight, and I think it’s a very good start and I’m proud of the team."

The squad will be in action again on Tuesday evening when they face a trip to play Luxembourg.