What the Lionesses Mean To England.


Mattanza M Fedora

England in a World Cup Final… that is such a beautiful sentence to hear from the commentators on BBC One.

As I sat down on my broken couch with a cup of sugar-laden Yorkshire Gold Tea, my smart TV, perched on my flat’s wall, the sight of the Lionesses walking out onto the pitch of Sydney’s Australia Stadium, alongside La Roja – The Red One -, I feel the rising tide of ecstasy from deep within my soul.

For the first time since 1966, England is in a World Cup Final, and against Spain for the first time since the Quarter-Finals of Women’s European Championships. This was always bound to be a match for the ages in English Football as the reigning European Champions sought to crown themselves Queens of the World, and the Spaniards, naturally, desired to overcome their loss against the Anglians.

Throughout this tournament, we’ve seen plenty of highs that showcase the potential of a collective English team pushing for a collective English dream, and these ladies have demonstrated class, style and dedication that should inspire awe in every football fan from Marshall Meadows Bay to Land’s End. 

Captain Millie Bright with her defensive skills, dominant leadership, tenacious tackles, towering aerial ability, remarkably efficient offensive abilities, pinpoint passing and ability to read the game like the back of her hand makes her a role model for all young women looking to take on the world, and set the standard for leadership that we can all aspire for.

Lauren James has also had a breakthrough tournament for England at the recent Women’s World Cup in Australia. At only 21, started all of England’s games in attack. Her direct running and pace posed a constant threat down the wings. She scored her first international goal with a powerful strike into the top corner. A big moment for the young forward on the biggest stage. Even against the tougher opposition in the knockout rounds, James didn’t look fazed. She took on defenders 1v1 and opened up space nicely for teammates. Her work rate for the team was impressive – she covered so much ground up and down the flank to help out defensively when needed. Clearly, the James Family talent is not limited to just Lauren’s brother and Chelsea Men’s Captain, Reece James.

Lucy Bronze: Still arguably the best right-back playing. Fierce going forward and defensively sound. Sets the standard. And let’s not forget the amazing goalkeeper, Mary “Queen of Stops” Earps. Such a brilliant shot-stopper and an unsung hero for us all.

The day’s match provided the perfect example of Mary’s skills, after an agonisingly long wait for Tori Penso’s consultation with the VAR office as to whether La Roja deserved their penalty – one which I believe to be completely wrong -, the Queen of Stops caught the ball and saved us from going two goals down, and I was leaping around the room like we’d just struck the back of the net ourselves. My sienna-coloured mane whipped over my head like a fire in the wind.

The words of our commentators differed in terms of whether they felt we’d made good on our opportunities, or if we even made any significant ones to begin with. Myself? I believe that we simply didn’t pick the right formation ready to tackle the Tika-Taka style of Football the Spaniards so proudly display on their best nights. 

In spite of the loss, these ladies took us further than any other team could have dreamed in the quest for World Cup Champions, and when you factor that into the results of our match, there’s no shame in being beaten by the best. The Spanish Women’s team simply knew how to handle their midfield, and had the familiarity of playing in a climate not too dissimilar to their own. They demonstrated how sometimes the best defence is a good offence.

This is not the end of England Women’s Football, as they still hold the European Crown until someone comes and takes it from them. This is only the beginning, and these Lionesses are the Pride of England. On behalf of the Campaign for an English Parliament, this is the kind of inspiration that we look for in the role models that anyone, male, female, non-binary, child, teenager or adult for in our dream of a society that rewards people for the content of their character.

Finally, we wish to show our deepest gratitude for the honour of being coached by Serina Wiegman. She’s brought us to a European Championship, our first final for any English World Cup Squad since the sixties; and the future of our nation’s football is very bright in her hands. This collective English Pride of Lionesses show that the length and breadth of our homeland have the talent to compete with the best, and we wish to keep growing as a family and team to finally achieve our collective dream.