Burnley’s Rachel Brown-Finnis hopes to crown the advances made in women’s football over the last 20 years by winning the European Championships in Sweden next month.
The Everton goalkeeper is off to her fourth Euros after being named in Hope Powell’s 23-strong squad at Monday’s announcement at the British Museum.
Now 32, Rachel made her Three Lionesses debut back in 1997, since then she has gone on to win 78 caps, go to two World Cups, last summer’s Olympics, while earning a place in FIFA’s Allstar team to face World Cup hosts China in 2007.
The women’s game has come on leaps and bounds since 1993, when the FA took over it’s running, and in the FA’s 150th anniversary year, Rachel would like nothing more than to go one better than in 2009 and win the Euros.
She said: “I’m delighted to be in the squad - it was a bit touch and go as five weeks ago I tore my quad, but I’ve had treatment and it’s gone well.
“It’s another proud moment to go to my fourth Euros - it makes me feel old, but the biggest thing is the growth in the women’s game and how it is perceived now.
“We had huge crowds at the Olympics, and the WPL is on ESPN and BT Sport, while our Euros games are on BBC.”
And she would love to take advantage of the increased exposure by claiming silverware, having lost in the final to Germany in 2009: “This group has been together a long time - Rachel Yankey, Kelly Smith, myself, and it would be amazing to cap our careers with England with a major trophy.
“It’s the one thing that’s missing, having made fantastic strides in the game.
“But we’re in a tough group with Spain, Russia and France, and we know from past tournaments it’s always tough, and we’ll take it a game at a time.”