Former England captain Steph Houghton has admitted she struggled to look at Euro 2022 within the summer time after lacking out on a spot within the ultimate Lionesses squad.
Houghton has been an England worldwide since 2007 and captained the group to semi-finals at main tournaments in 2015, 2017 and 2019. But she missed most of final season via damage and was racing in opposition to the clock to be slot in time for the landmark match on house turf.
During her lengthy absence, Houghton additionally noticed the England captaincy cross to Leah Williamson, a swap made everlasting by supervisor Sarina Wiegman in April.
There was nonetheless a probability the veteran may have made the squad anyway, and she or he acquired explicit assist within the press. But even after being named on the provisional listing, Houghton didn’t make the minimize for the ultimate 23-man squad and had to look at a historic summer time from afar.
Giving her account to The Players’ Tribune, Houghton mentioned dropping the England captaincy was the “hardest” side of being sidelined – she had first been handed the armband in 2014.
“When Sarina announced her choice for the new England captain in April, I was delighted for Leah and I fully respected the decision,” Houghton defined.
“But that was one of the hardest parts of the injury, if not the hardest. You give everything to something and it’s taken away from you, without you being able to show what you can do.”
She went on so as to add: “Obviously I watched the final, I couldn’t miss it. But to be completely honest, throughout the European Championship I found it difficult to watch the games. I was so desperate to be there that when I wasn’t selected, I wasn’t sure how good it was for me mentally to watch the tournament.
“I used to be so annoyed as a result of I felt like I had so little closure. It all simply felt bizarre.”
Houghton revealed she still kept in touch with the squad before each game, as she would have done as captain, and was delighted to see them go on to lift the trophy – England’s first silverware in a senior women’s tournament – but described the situation as “bittersweet” .
Read Steph Houghton’s full piece for The Players’ Tribune – “What It Takes” – right here.