Jill Scott: England’s injury woes won’t hinder their World Cup victory chances

    Euro 2022 winner Jill Scott believes England can overcome the absence of key players and claim World Cup glory this summer.

    Manager Sarina Wigman’s preparations for the Australian and New Zealand tournament starting in July have been hampered by the loss of some stars to injury.

    The European champions will be without captain Leah Williamson and midfielder Fran Kirby due to long-standing knee problems, while another victim, striker Beth Meade, is judged to be highly questionable, having been sidelined since November.

    After last year’s European success at Wembley, two more experienced campaigners, Scott herself and Ellen White, have retired, and the Liones team may feel very different.

    Scott told the PA news agency: “Obviously we had a few injuries. You cannot shy away from the fact that we will miss the captain, a fantastic player.

    “Her game has reached new heights and she will be a very big setback, but this is an opportunity that is given to young players. I still think we have a great team.

    “You’ve had players like Lauren James and she looks like she’s been playing for England for years.

    “Led by Sarina, I still fully believe that we can go out and win the World Cup.

    “What she’s really good at is that she focuses on you and the team, focuses on your performance and the performance of the team.

    “It seems (you think) that the only person who can defeat us today is ourselves. I’m sure there will be the same attitude before this tournament.”

    Scott spoke at the launch of The Great Game, the Football Association’s new program to improve the health and well-being of children aged 12 to 16.

    The initiative aims to use the power of football to inspire young people and their families to take at least one healthier action every week.

    Delivered in the form of workshops and through community clubs, it focuses on four key areas: move well, eat well, sleep well, and think well.

    The scheme is being tested in five regions before being rolled out nationally next year.

    Scott, the program’s ambassador, said: “It’s about getting young people to be more physically active, as well as taking care of their mental well-being, using the power of football. I really believe in it.”

    Scott is happy to be able to use his profile for the benefit of others.

    “I have always tried to be a role model,” she said. “Growing up my role model was David Beckham and I thought he always had time for people.

    “To think that young girls, young boys, can look at you when you play at the Euro – I take this role very seriously.

    “The next generation is our future, so prevention is better than cure. I always say that, and if we’re going to make them feel better now, it’s only going to benefit society in the future.”

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