England take on defending champions and the world’s top-ranked side the United States in Lyon this evening and the Grimsby Town Women’s team are getting right behind the Phil Neville's Lionesses.
Manager, Dale Houlston is feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness ahead of tonight's game.
Dale said: "I’ve got a mixture of excitement and nervousness about tonight. It is that usual feeling we get as England supporters isn’t it, when we are so close to something amazing; but we fear having it snatched away from us by a mistake or a poor officials decision, or even just not being able to play the occasion. But I also have a sense that there is something different about this England team under Phil Neville’s leadership. I think he has got what it takes to get the team over the line this time around.
"There is quality throughout, especially down the right-hand side with Lucy Bronze and Nikita Parris. There is a brilliant spine to the team too with Steph Houghton and Millie Bright all the way through Jill Scott who is having a terrific World Cup. Then, of course, Ellen White is a constant threat in front of goal.
"There is no doubt that the USA is full of world class players, and it will be the toughest challenge I think we will have ever faced. But you’ve got to admire Phil Neville’s approach as well you know. He seems to have established a great atmosphere in the camp, one of fun as he puts it, and when you look at how cool calm and collected the team has been so far, that bodes well for tonight if they approach the occasion in the same manner.
"In terms of the effect this will have on the development of the female game, it is massive. They have already done so much to inspire young girls to want to play football, but can you imagine just how much more positivity it will bring if we can go on to lift the trophy. I’m crossing absolutely everything tonight in hope."
And our player-coach Sophie Bartup hopes England’s progress can help further encourage girls to get involved in football.
“It’s been incredible to see the Lionesses reach the semi-finals,” she told GrimsbyLive.
“For me though, it’s seeing the players, the team, the manager, everywhere you go people are talking about it on trains, on buses, you see it on billboards, on the TV, on the radio, in local shops, and it’s fantastic to see that.
“We want to see more girls playing football, and the FA’s vision to double female participation in the game is fantastic, but it’ll also inspire young boys and girls that if you can achieve your dreams with hard work.
“It’s been fantastic to see, and for us to launch our new football club at the same time as the Lionesses are going on this journey is fantastic.
“As a female football fan and a player, I’m just enjoying watching them, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for tonight against the USA.”
Fingers crossed that Phil Neville and the @England @Lionesses have got some tricks up their sleeves too in the @FIFAWWC semi-final. @OfficialGTFC Women know they can do this. #GTFC pic.twitter.com/3HrdrPAlvW— Grimsby Town FC (@officialgtfc) July 1, 2019