England womens captain, Steph Houghton says she is eager to be playing Brazil facing a sell-out audience in the North East and will never forget how she started out there as a kid, wearing oversized tops, that was handed down by the guys team.
The Lionesses carry on Saturday on Brazil, a side they have beaten.
Thirty thousand tickets are sold in Middlesbroughs Riverside Stadium. However, the side of Phil Neville are having gone four games without one.
Talking to Sky Sports News, Houghton said:Obviously when the likes of me and Jill Scott started at Sunderland, we had been 13 or 14 years old.
You had to pay to play, #250 value of subs to play for Sunderland. Youd hand me down kits in the mens side to play in, which had been large men.
Look, I have seen each side of this last 10 to 15 decades and I wouldnt change it to the world. I believe it makes us the players. I believe were in a privileged place today. I am able to say I am a footballer. Its my occupation.
But in precisely exactly the same time, I wont ever forget what we have been through, in relation to how we got to this place. The future is actually bright for these young women coming through now, that are 16 or 17.
Houghton, that performs centre-back for Manchester City, got married to former Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby.
Three weeks after he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), a condition that affects the mind and nervous system, resulting in muscle weakness. Fernando Ricksen, former Rangers captain, lost his fight to the illness a month, aged 43.
In Saturdays match, a stay donation agency will be available, with proceeds going to The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation. The aim of the charity is to assist those suffering to increase consciousness and to finance research.
It has been tough on a private level, however, I think with the base gives us something else to concentrate on, said Houghton.
Im trying to concentrate on my football. I really like being here. My husband is actually supportive of it and now I am supporting his foundation as far as I can.
The Lionesses match against Brazil will be their first home game since the failure of the World Cup in which they lost in the semi-final to the USA.
One of the dangers is very likely to be Brazilian forwards, Marta, whos widely thought of as the best female player of all time. Shes won the FIFA player of the year.
As a defender, Houghton looks forward to playing against her:Those kinds of players can change games at a moment. She is definitely one of the sort of players.
She pushes her team , whether thats her dribbling with the ball or even a few of the tricks shes doing. She just loves the big occasions so that I have a massive regard for her and what she has done for the sport.
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