Ella Thun stressed that England are set for the World Cup this summer, still well-equipped to thrive despite injury setbacks that are “really hard to get over”.
Skipper Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby have been ruled out of the Australian and New Zealand tournament with injuries, while Beth Mead, who won the Golden Boot and tournament honors when the team won the Euros last year, could also be out.
Thun, who scored the first goal in a 2-1 win over Germany after extra time brought the trophy at Wembley, told PA news agency: “Injuries are really hard to bear.
“No one wants teammates and other players to have such severe injuries. So it was difficult, and the players who make up the majority of our team.
“But we have to focus on what we have, and there is so much talent on the team. Now the team is joined by young girls with incredible talent.
“So I think it’s important for us to go there, be confident in ourselves and each other, and hopefully we can make the nation proud again.
“We know what it takes to win a trophy and what it feels like when you win it, and we want to keep that feeling many more times for our country. So it’s about going there with that faith, faith in the team, in ourselves and just playing the football that we love to play.
“We know we have a goal now, but I think as players we thrive on that.”
England’s long unbeaten streak under Sarina Wigman came to an end in their last match, a 2-0 loss to Australia last month in Brentford.
Thun sees defeat as a “useful thing”, adding: “We lost and that’s part and parcel of football. I think you learn so much from games like this and it probably happened at the perfect time for us. This is definitely not a cause for concern, and we will learn from this.”
The Manchester United star, 23, performed at the opening of Ella Thun Field at the new William Fosters Hub in Ince, Wigan, near her hometown of Tyldesley.
It is one of 23 Football Foundation-funded courses to be named after each of the lionesses who won last summer’s Euros, with Jill Scott’s opening being the first in February.
The pitches are part of the Football Foundation’s “Here to Play” campaign, which celebrates the charity’s commitment to creating facilities that provide equal access for women and girls who play football.
Tun said, “This is amazing. When I was growing up and starting my football journey, I never thought that a field would be named after me – it’s an honor.
Post-Euro developments also include the FA’s report of an increase in the number of women and the announcement of a government package to promote and equal access to school sports and record attendance at the women’s games.
On the big picture of the impact of the win on Euro, Thun said: “It was amazing. I think that was the point for us – obviously we wanted to win the tournament, but how can we really help women’s football grow?
“After the win, it exploded a lot, but it’s important for us to keep our foot on the gas and use our platforms to the best of our ability to really help the development of the game. I think equal access for girls and boys is always important to us and hopefully we can help a lot of people start their football journey.”
The opening of the 3G field comes after the Government has announced a £64m commitment, working alongside its Football Foundation partners, the Premier League and the Football Federation, to build and upgrade 1,600 mass sports venues across England this year.
The facilities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from £3.8m which the government is investing in partnership with football associations in each country.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sports said at least 50% of the investment would go to disadvantaged areas.
Cultural secretary Lucy Fraser told the PA: “It’s really coming up all over the country. This is really important because some young people will want to be the next Ella Toon or Harry Kane or Jill Scott and these facilities will allow them to do so.”