Aylesbury’s Ellen White flew home from England Women’s miserable Euro 2013 campaign racked with regret admitting she is ‘absolutely gutted’.
The former Grange School pupil and her England Women teammates slumped to a heavy 3-0 defeat in their final must-win group game against France in Sweden on Thursday night to seal their fate.
Arsenal Ladies striker White, so often the hero for the Lionesses, was starved of service all tournament as England lost 3-2 in the opener to Spain, scraped a 1-1 draw against Russia last Monday and were then thumped by the French to send them packing.
It completed what has been a miserable calendar year for English football with the men’s side not yet certain to reach next year’s World Cup in Rio and the U20 and U21 sides faring terribly in summer competitions.
There was little White, the current England Women’s player of the year, could do to help the team’s cause out in Sweden with only a handful of half chances throughout the three games.
But the Fairford Leys woman was still left doing some soul searching as the team came in for fierce criticism from fans and pundits alike following their exit.
Speaking to Herald Sport after arriving back in England, White was candid in her assessment of performances.
“I’m absolutely gutted not to have progressed in the Euros,” she said.
“It is always hard to take coming home from a tournament that we knew as a squad we could potentially do well in if we performed.
“And ultimately we did not perform when it mattered, which is actually harder to take to be honest.
“We must learn from this experience and use it going forward to drive us all on.
“It’s back to club football now, so there is another focus, but it is still frustrating to think about. I definitely keep replaying the games in my head and think what I should have done better.
“But I’m looking forward to being back with the girls at Arsenal and ultimately trying to retain our WSL trophy and do well in the Continental Cup.”
After England Women’s exit the future of White’s long-serving manager, Hope Powell, was called into question by pundits despite leading the side 16 months unbeaten going into the Euros.