• European Women's Championship

Powell hopes of Euro glory for England Women

ESPN staff
July 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Hope Powell says she has been studying the Germany side ahead of the European Championship © Getty Images
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Hope Powell is confident the England women's team can win the European Championship - and believes her side would give their male counterparts a run for their money.

Powell, who represented the national side between 1983 and 1998 before taking over as head coach, told BBC Newsround ahead of Friday's opening group match with Spain that her team better the men on technical ability.

"I think physically the guys are obviously a lot stronger than the women," she said, "but if we took it on technical ability we're as good as the men. We'd give it a good go.

"Women's football is sometimes considered secondary, but the growth of the game means more people are interested in the game and it's flourishing."

England were unbeaten in qualifying for the tournament and will hope to go one step further than in 2009, when they were beaten by Germany.

And Powell, whose side are on an 11-match unbeaten run in competitive matches, believes victory in Sweden could secure the future of the women's game in England.

"It would mean all the good work over the years would all be worth it," Powell said. "Hopefully we could get more investment and the game would be professionalised sooner rather than later."

Germany are the clear tournament favourites, despite being held to a goalless draw by the Netherlands on Thursday, and Powell revealed she has been doing her homework on the defending champions.

"We had a UEFA study visit where we went to Germany; we try and look at what everyone else in the world is doing," she said.

"We have to remember that Germany have a larger pool of players to choose from and that helps them massively. Germany Women 20-25 years ago were in the same position as we are. It takes time but the FA are investing more and we are heading in the right direction.

"It's important to recognise we have our own culture and our own DNA, it's important to work with that, but we will continue to strive to become the leading nation in women's football."

England vice-captain, Arsenal's Alex Scott, who will win her 100th cap on Friday, agrees with her manager.

"That interest is creeping in," Scott said. "It's a really exciting time. We could be the group that push the game forward. The expectation is for us to go out and win and we want to win."

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