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England Women captain Leah Williamson whether she likes it or not has become the face of England Women’s football in the country. Williamson has gone from being an Arsenal fan to being one of their key players and now one of the first names on the teamsheet for the national team. Before her appointment as captain, Williamson had just six minutes of experience in the 2019 World Cup.

“Things have changed a little bit, haven’t they? Somebody said to me the other day that if I start that opening game – that would be my first start in a major tournament. Now I’m doing it as captain. I’ve not maybe had the opportunities in the past, but I’ve been building to be ready for this now. It’s the next bit of the journey, that’s how I look at it,” England Women captain Leah Williamson said. “When I was younger, I was the girl that had my role models in football – you, Kel [Kelly Smith], Yanks [Rachel Yankey]. So now to be in that position, I feel – what’s the word – a bit of an impostor because I don’t see myself anywhere near what you guys were when you were playing. Now somebody’s looking up to me. They come to watch me week in, week out, so I’m a bit like, ‘tough shoes to fill’.”

“My dad always said to me that he hoped there would be a wage, so that I could be a footballer as a job,” she added. “The game has blown up. The opportunities that now come with it, obviously we benefit from them, but it’s never been what I thought I was going to grow up into – the complete landscape has changed. Now we are all footballers and that’s what we do – we don’t have another job, we don’t have to graft. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this. It wasn’t people recognizing you on the street.”

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