England womens captain, Steph Houghton says shes excited to be playing Brazil facing a sell-out audience in the North East and will never forget how she began out there as a kid, wearing oversize shirts, that was handed down from the guys team.
The Lionesses take on Brazil on Saturday, a negative they have beaten twice this season.
Thirty thousand tickets have been sold at Middlesbroughs Riverside Stadium. But, the side of Phil Neville are having gone four games without one.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Houghton said:Obviously when the likes of me and Jill Scott began 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 down kits in the mens side to perform in, which had been large guys.
Look, I have seen each side of this last 10 to 15 decades and I would not change it to the world. I think that it really gets us the gamers we are today. I believe we are in a place. I am able to say Im a professional footballer. Its my occupation.
But in exactly the exact same time, I will never forget what we are through, in relation to how we got to this place. The future is really bright for these young women coming through now, that are 16 or 17.
Got married to Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby.
Three months later he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), a condition which affects the mind and nervous system, causing muscle weakness. Fernando Ricksen, former Rangers captain, lost his battle to the illness last month.
At Saturdays match, a donation service will be open, with profits going to The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation. The purpose of the charity is to finance future research, to help those suffering with the disorder and to increase consciousness.
It has been tough on a personal level, but I think with the foundation gives us something else to focus on, said Houghton.
I am trying to focus on my football. I love being here. My husband is truly supportive of it now I am supporting his base as much as I can.
The Lionesses match against Brazil are their first home game since the failure of the World Cup in which they lost from the semi-final to the USA.
One of the dangers is very likely to be forwards, Marta, who is widely regarded as the best player of all time. She has won the FIFA player of the year.
As a defender, Houghton looks forward to playing against her:Those kinds of players may change games in a second. She is definitely one of those sort of players.
She drives her staff , whether thats her dribbling with the ball or even a few of the hints she does. She just loves the big occasions so I have a enormous admiration for her and what shes done for the game.
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