England’s Keira Walsh can’t wait to belt out another hair-raising rendition of the national anthem ahead of Tuesday’s Euro 2022 semi-final at Bramall Lane.
The Lionesses play Sweden for a place in the Wembley final on Wednesday after their thrilling overtime win over Spain.
Walsh feels that singing “God Save The Queen” best sums up the growing excitement at the Lionesses’ chances of lifting their first major trophy.
The Manchester City midfielder said: “For me, it’s when we sing the national anthem.
“You can hear it reverberating around the stadium and it’s a very special feeling that we’ve never experienced before because we haven’t had a home tournament.
“It gives you that little extra boost. Of course every tournament is important, but having the home crowd behind you is definitely something special and I hope we can continue that into the semi-finals.”
Walsh has played every minute for England at the tournament, with head coach Sarina Wiegman naming an unchanged starting XI for the three group games and the last 16 win over Spain.
When asked if there was a risk of player fatigue, Walsh said: “I think in the three group games it helped that we had a lot of possession. Of course, working on the ball is much easier than working off the ball.
“But I think the staff we have behind the team – the physios, sports scientists – always get us in the best shape, we do the best recovery to always be ready to play.
“But that’s thanks to the whole squad because Alessia (Russo) and (Ella) Toone were amazing coming on as a substitute.
“Jill (Scott) and Keets (Nikita Parris), everyone who’s come on board has made an impact and played a part and they’ve gotten us to this point and hopefully we can take it a step further.”
Walsh also paid tribute to coach Wiegman, who guided her home country, the Netherlands, to the European Championship in 2017 and to the World Cup final two years later.
Wiegman took charge of the Lionesses in September 2021 and Wednesday’s win extended their unbeaten tenure to 18 games.
Walsh added, “I just think she’s so laid back. She doesn’t put anyone under pressure. If you make a mistake in practice or in a game, she won’t casually bark at you.
“(It’s) her presence and she’s so calm, really positive and even at halftime she doesn’t come in and start screaming.
“She always says the right thing at the right moment and she was hugely important to us, as were the back-office staff and the technical staff. We’re just in a really good place.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/euro-2022-keira-walsh-anthem-england-sarina-wiegman-b2129527.html Hearing home fans sing the national anthem gives England “an extra boost,” says Keira Walsh