Sunderland-born England hero Jill Scott describes Lionesses' Euro final as ‘defining moment’

Sunderland-born Lioness Jill Scott has said it will be a “very defining moment for the sport” when England take on Germany in the Women’s Euro 2022 final on Sunday, July 31.

Jill Scott, 35, hails from Wearside and played for Sunderland between 2004 and 2006, before moving onto Everton and then Manchester City.

Midfielder Scott will be hoping to line up in-front of a sold out Wembley as as the Lionesses bid to claim the first major trophy in their history.

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The Lionesses’ last appearance in a major tournament final was at Euro 2009 in Finland, where they were beaten 6-2 by Germany to finish as runners-up for a second time.

Former Sunderland player and current England lioness, Jill Scott, says it will be a "very defining moment for the sport" when England take on Germany in Sunday's Euro 2022 final. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

Scott was part of the team that day and hopes what is her eighth tournament with England will have a very different outcome.

She said: “I think it’s a very defining moment.

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“I think there’s been lots of things along the way that have happened that have kind of progressed the sport.

“It’s hard when you’re in it because you are just logically thinking about the next game, meetings, training sessions, we don’t really see all the noise from the outside – but the things that we have heard have been very positive.

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Jill Scott in action for England.

“We are very happy to be there on Sunday. I think the best two teams have made the final, which is great, and I think it is going to be a very defining moment for the sport.”

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The veteran midfielder has highlighted major differences between 2009 and now, referring to attendances and professionalisation, as being “like night and day”.

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She continued: “We don’t want to forget everybody that came before and wore the shirt, because that’s why we’re here today.

"It’s going to be a great moment – even thinking about it, I think my voice goes a little bit.

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"We just have to try to remain logical, and it’s one more game to go out there and achieve our dreams.”

As significant as lifting the trophy itself, is the wider benefits it can bring to women’s football.

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Scott added: “We said before we really wanted to inspire the nation, to do everyone proud, our families, our friends, we wanted to grow more opportunities for youngsters, more opportunities for women who want to work in football.

"We wanted to get the sport the respect it deserves. I think we’ve ticked all of those boxes.

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“I think it’s been an incredible journey so far. We’ve ticked a lot of boxes and hopefully there’s one big tick left to do.”

When asked what it would mean for women’s football in England if Sarina Wiegman’s side win on Sunday, the footballer said: “I think it will be a game-changer.

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"I think this tournament has already done that, but we know that extra step on Sunday could really make a big difference.”

She ended: “Germany are always such tough opposition and we will give them the utmost respect – but you can’t help but dare to dream a little bit.”

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Sunday’s game at Wembley Stadium kicks off at 5pm.