Leah Williamson: 'It just gives you the fire in the belly for the summer'
Captain Leah Williamson was speaking after England lifted the inaugural Women's Finalissima with a penalty shootout victory against Brazil at Wembley Stadium
Leah Williamson believes it is important the England players enjoy moments like their Finalissima win and said it helps provide fire in their belly ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Williamson captained England to their first major trophy last summer in the UEFA Women’s EURO and has followed it up with a second Arnold Clark Cup win and tonight’s first-ever Women’s Finalissima.
The penalty win over Brazil came in front of 83,132 fans at Wembley Stadium connected by EE and Williamson stressed it is important the players enjoy moments like this.
She said: “I was reminded by somebody close to me to enjoy the moments. Kaz Carney said ‘why can’t you enjoy it along the way?’
“We work hard, we put the work in and we don’t shy away, we give everything we can to England in pursuit of this greater goal but we are going to enjoy it along the way and the more we remember and the more we feel when we do things like this, it just gives you the fire in the belly for the summer.”
England dominated the opening period and took a deserved lead midway through the half via Ella Toone.
Brazil improved considerably in the second period but looked set for defeat before a goal in the third minute of injury by Andressa Alves.
Williamson said: “Equalisers like that, you always think if I just did this or if I had just done that. But we didn’t necessarily deserve to concede [that goal], I think we are a lot better than we were in the second half, even though there were still good things.
“It meant we got what we deserved and we had to finish things off in a different way. It is probably good to expose ourselves to all these challenges.
“For me personally, and I know a couple of the girls said it, we didn’t come out the way we should have come out [second half]. We were rocky, complacent, not good on the ball and Brazil will take advantage of that.
“I think we did well not to concede early on and once we sorted ourselves out, we are a good enough team to be able to deal with those counter-attacks but with a team like Brazil, if you give them an inch, they will take it.”
But despite the late disappointment, England composed themselves to win 4-2 on penalties and lift the inaugural Women’s Finalissima.
Williamson said: “We looked at the list and I was like: ‘Those penalty takers are incredible for us’ and with Mary, we know how good she is in goal as well. I wasn’t worried at all.
“Those players were picked already, we had a little conversation around it and made sure everybody was good but nobody in this team would shy away, everybody was ready to step up and take responsibility and we have executed.”
MATCH CENTRE: ENGLAND v BRAZIL