Victoria Williams admits it was an emotional afternoon as she walked into a packed Wembley Stadium and watched some of her pals win the Euros.
Such an opportunity was beyond their wildest dreams when the current Albion skipper was growing up.
It’s a cliché and it’s a line we’ve heard before – but it’s true.
The dream is here for girls nowadays who love to play the game.
There will no doubt be some such youngsters at the Amex on Sunday when the Seagulls belatedly open their home program in the ever-improving WSL.
Two weeks after Aston Villa’s visit was canceled as a mark of respect for the late Queen Elizabeth II, Albion (14.00) take on Reading at the magnificent Falmer Stadium.
Williams knows how the fans will feel as she leads the home team out.
The boot was on the other foot as she supported the Lionesses on their journey to stardom this summer.
She said: “It was scary to be honest.
“I just come out and go to my seat and take it all in at a packed Wembley.
“Forty-eight hours before the game, I didn’t have a ticket and I was sitting at home thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to miss this.’
“I managed to crawl one from a friend and it was actually quite emotional.
“Growing up, I never expected to see anything remotely close to this.
“The experience itself and of course topped off with a win in England, it was a phenomenal day.
“I grew up with some of these players. It’s so nice to see.
“It’s kind of weird seeing them almost as celebrities now.
“They’re just normal girls who have worked hard at their craft and are now getting their just reward.
“Now if you’re a young girl, you can look at this and think there’s something you can do.
“All the fundamentals are in place to help you be as successful as you want to be.
“It’s so beautiful because growing up you were never sure where it was going to lead you.
“Now these girls have real focus and a goal to aim for.
“Football was really a hobby and it cost you way more than you would ever get back from it.
“I’m kind of riding the wave now and I don’t forget to be present in every moment because I would have liked to have said as a kid that I wanted to grow up and be a professional footballer, but I knew at the time that it wasn’t. not possible.
“To actually be in the process of living and breathing it now, I don’t take a day for granted.”
The Amex was a big part of the English success story.
Now Albion, whose home games are usually played in Crawley Town, are allowed to step onto the ground where Norway and Spain were defeated.
Ahead of the Villa game, Williams said, expressing feelings that haven’t changed at all since then: “I know a lot of our fans want us to play a little bit closer to home, so we expect to see a lot of them here – and friends and family.
“Just being able to put on a show in a beautiful stadium on a beautiful pitch.”
Albion got off to a false start last Friday, losing 4-0 to a top-flight Arsenal side, helped by a red card for Emma Kullberg after seven minutes.
Williams posted a motivational message via social media after that game, speaking of her pride in the team’s efforts playing at ten.
The veteran centre-back is happy with the way a heavily changed squad has developed.
She said: “The downside of a lot of players who leave is that those who come in have a new perspective on things.
“It’s almost like a fresh start for us.
“We look a little different in the way we play.
“It will be really exciting to see what we can achieve this season.
“I am firmly convinced that we can achieve the internally set goals.
“Our internal goal last year was to start faster.
“In previous seasons, it took a while to really get going.
“We got there early on, had some really good results.
“Unfortunately, the form has gone down, that was a disappointing factor for us.
“We thought we had enough to get more out of the games but it didn’t really work out that way.
“This is football. you don’t really know
“You have an idea of how teams will compete against you.
“But until the whistle blows, you can’t really predict what’s going to happen.”
Albion had four Arsenal debutants in Jorja Fox, Poppy Pattinson, Vea Sarri and Elisabeth Terland but were generally on the backfoot after Kullberg stumbled on the prolific Stina Blackstenius, who should have been ruled offside.
If all goes well, their plan to play some more football this season should become apparent on Sunday.
So what to expect? Williams said: “Wait and see! That’s the beauty of it.
“Buy a ticket, come down on Sunday and hopefully you’ll see it.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/22568592.victoria-williams-talks-brighton-england—dream/?ref=rss Victoria Williams talks Brighton, England – and the dream