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Every match is of great importance for us now and our friendly international against Iceland on Saturday is no exception.
The game against Iceland plays a big part in our preparations for our final two Euro 2013 qualifier matches in September. It will give us the opportunity to spend more time together as a squad and allow us extra time to work on how we want to be playing come September, when the all-important matches come around.
I feel that it is important to want to win every game you play, so this game will be no different. Confidence is high within the squad and we will want to keep that momentum going.
I, personally, don't have any experience in playing against Iceland at any age level so I am looking forward to facing a new challenge. However I am sure I will be made aware of how they play by my team mates who have played against them and also the coaching staff.
We go into this game on the back of a 2-0 win against Cameroon in our last match a few weeks ago. The Cameroon experience was great for us because it was something we maybe haven't been used to playing against in the past, when we play European teams. However, because I don't know too much about Iceland, I don't know what to expect but I am sure come game time we will be more than prepared to go out and put on a good performance.
There are a few different faces which have been added to the squad since the Cameroon game which is a boost for us because it means there will be more competition for starting places. With the additions of our full time professional players named back in the squad, it is only going to add to the experience and quality within our team. With more and more of our players playing football full time it will not only develop them further as players but also help towards developing the national team and help get us to the next step of qualifying for major tournaments.
I feel that over the last five years or so, our national team has been progressing well. With the implementation of our National Academy and regional academies it is allowing players to train more whilst they study/work. Competition for places in the squad is increasing with the quality of the players coming through but we have a great balance of youth and experience which is really important, especially leading into the big games we have coming up.
Ifeoma Dieke however suffered a knee injury whilst playing for Team GB in the Olympic Games last week, ironically against Cameroon. I don't know how serious the injury is yet, but Iffy is an important player and would obviously be missed. However there is competition for places now, and there are promising young players who have been involved against Cameroon and Iceland who will be keen to keep their places in the squad.
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