Prince William has sent a "good luck" message to England’s women’s soccer team for its match against France at FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. ITV reported that the Duke of Cambridge, who is president of England's Football Association (FA), wished the team good luck, saying, "It gives me great pleasure to wish Mark Sampson, the England squad and all of the backroom staff the very best of luck for the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.”
Prince William added, "As president of the FA, I am delighted that women's [soccer] has become such a central part of our daily work across the country. The senior England team are the pinnacle of this and I am sure all [soccer] fans will join me in hoping they do well over the coming days.”
The royal even commented on the team’s determination, having met the players last month. "Having had the chance to meet the squad and follow their progress in qualifying, I know they are determined to do their very best at the finals. And I believe their involvement will inspire more girls up and down the country to get involved in the game. A positive performance in Canada will only further the growth of the women's game. So good luck to all involved and ... come on, England!”
Meanwhile, Sampson hopes to see 18 months of hard work as the national women’s coach come to fruition. The Guardian reported the coach was nervous and refused to hide it. Sampson shared how he thinks “nerves are a good thing,” explaining that if one doesn’t feel nervous at such an event, then it probably doesn’t mean enough to that person. “It’s a question of how we use that nervous energy, that pressure. But, you know what? We’ve worked hard all our lives to get here, this is the pressure we wanted, these are the nerves we wanted. We’re really sensing and smelling this as an opportunity. We’re going to try to use the nerves as positive energy. This is a big challenge but I think we’re in a good place to meet it.”
England, ranked No. 6 in the world, will also play Mexico and Colombia on June 13 and 17, respectively, reports the FA. The final will be played in Vancouver on July 5. This will be England’s fourth appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup, with the Lionesses reaching the quarterfinals on each previous occasion -- 1995, 2007 and 2011.