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Published 25 July 2022 7 min read
England Women's Senior Team

England's EURO Diary: Demi Stokes

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Demi Stokes

Defender gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the Lionesses camp ahead of the UEFA Women's EUROs semi-final with Sweden

After the blowout and rest and recover day on Thursday, Friday was an off-your-feet day and based more around fun. Wednesday night was such a good night and everyone was on a high, so it is good to bring everyone back down, switch off and just have a bit of fun. That is always good for the group.

Some of the girls were out on the boats and I have been at times too. It is just nice to get away from where you are staying and switch off. I think that is good with staying at The Lensbury Resort because there are a lot of options for people. If you don’t particularly want to go on the water then you have the relaxation room, there are games you can play or if you just want to go up to your room and chillout, then that is all good as well. There is a good balance around the camp where everyone can be in their groups or be individuals when they need to be.

On Friday we had this Fox Hunt, which was good to get everyone to switch off. You think ‘O God I’m an adult and I’m playing Fox Hunt’ but everyone got right into it and became really competitive. That was good and quite funny as well. In situations like that you sometimes have a couple of people who think ‘this isn’t for me this’ but then they get right into it and it becomes competitive and people start questioning the rules. 

Demi Stokes is enjoying life in the England Lionesses camp
Demi Stokes is enjoying life in the England Lionesses camp

The staff were involved as well and it was good for them to switch off too because they are non-stop all the time as well. Obviously, when the games are underway and coming thick and fast, it is the players who get all of the recognition but there is a squad of 23 players and the staff as well. Everyone is getting the machine going and we are all a piece of the cog, where if one isn’t working or doing our job then it doesn’t work. So everyone is a credit to themselves with how they have conducted themselves to get us to this point.

Saturday was training but it was light-hearted. There was head tennis, dodgeball, volleyball, walking football and a golf-coursed themed thing but it was all for points, so you were in your teams and everyone becomes really competitive and everyone is fuming if they are not winning. So it was training but a bit more light-hearted and was active recovery to get us moving and get us going, ready to build into Sunday ahead of Tuesday.

I, unfortunately, was not on the winning team. but I was there for a fun time and a good time!

25 Jul 2022 30:00

Episode 23 | Lionesses Live connected by EE

Alessia Russo and Lotte Wubben-Moy join the Lionesses Live crew the day before England's semi-final with Sweden

Sunday involved training, we did some prep on Sweden with meetings and then after recovery work, some of the players had some media to do. So Sunday was a bit more serious and back on the graft and hard work. We then had a movie night as a team where we watched Maiden, so there is time for team stuff and also individual stuff in camp. There is a good balance.

Monday is then match-day-minus-one. So training is always not too crazy and not too light but it usually consists of things like rondos, you might have some tactical work but a lot of the hard work is done on the match-day-minus-two in terms of the tactical stuff. The Monday is more a confidence-building session, where the forwards will do their shooting and crossing and there is possession work. 

That is a good thing about the camp because it is consistent and you know what you are coming up against work-wise. It is good that people are able to get their head around it and at this stage you just need consistency, and it is working well for us. That is the main thing.

The England squad are competitive on the pitch and off it
The England squad are competitive on the pitch and off it

Building up to the semi-final, the camp is feeling good. There is a lot of outside noise and it is important to let everyone else make that noise and what we speak about in this camp is what we believe and what we think. So it is about being humble and keeping our feet grounded. Everyone is excited but it is about taking each game as it comes. Focus on that game and doing our jobs to get the job done.

Obviously, this camp has been different for me compared to others now I have my son Harlen. I always have a FaceTime in the morning and throughout the day there are plenty of pictures – my phone has blowing up with pictures and videos. When I scroll through, they are all of Harlen so I miss them but this is only a short time, it is not forever, and I knew when we got our due date that I was prepared that if I was selected, then while I am here, it is important to be focused and present.

Katie has come to the games but Harlen hasn’t yet. I think it would be a bit too noisy for him at the moment, although to be fair, I think he would quite like it and then go to sleep knowing him. But there will be plenty of games in the future he can come to in his little England kit. There is plenty of time for all of that.

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