Leading the Lionesses: Carol Thomas on being the first English woman to reach 50 caps for the Lionesses

As a part of Sky Sports News’ Leading the Lionesses sequence, Carol Thomas – the second ever England Women captain – discusses a few of her profession milestones, how the panorama of girls’s soccer has modified and her recommendation to present captain Leah Williamson.

At 20 years previous, Thomas was appointed as the second official England Women captain from 1976 to 1985, taking on from Sheila Parker.

She made her debut for the nationwide staff in 1974 and have become the first English woman to reach 50 caps for the Lionesses.

  • Meet the Lionesses
  • Women’s Euro 2022: All you want to know
  • Download the Sky Sports App

Thomas achieved many firsts in her profession, however when requested to take us again to the starting of her journey, she advised Sky Sports News: “My dad played local football in Hull, and I had an older brother. He came along and I was kicking a ball for as long as I could remember.”

In 1966, soccer historical past was made at Wembley and the picture of Bobby Moore holding the World Cup trophy for England was a key inspirational second for a younger Thomas.

“Along got here the ’66 World Cup, I used to be 11 then. Obviously, that influenced me lots. Luckily, in Hull we had our personal works league at the time, there was a girl residing close to me who performed for considered one of them and he or she invited me to go and be a part of their staff.

“And especially as the ban was still on in that time – the ban from women playing football wasn’t lifted until 1971 – and we weren’t allowed to play on affiliated pitches. So, we played on parks and works grounds wherever there were posts.”

Also See:

  • Meet the Lionesses

  • Women’s Euro 2022: All you want to know

  • Download the Sky Sports App

  • Women’s Euros 2022 fixtures

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Carol Thomas was the first English woman to obtain 50 caps for the Lionesses

A pioneer for the sport, Thomas doesn’t suppose she was the loudest on the pitch, however did exhibit management qualities.

She stated: “I didn’t set out to be captain, but I think it comes across. I’m basically quite a shy person, but I like to think I encouraged the girls and the ladies in the right direction. When I became captain, I wasn’t a shouter or anything like that, I like to think that I led by example.”

Also in the 70s, Carol turned considered one of the first ladies’s FA certified coaches. She says it went hand-in-hand with captaincy, including: “It helped a lot because I went on the first ever women’s coaching course at Lilleshall.

“There can be about 15 or 20 of us, I feel. And I used to be fortunate sufficient to be solely considered one of three that handed that course. So, I used to be considered one of the first FA ladies’s coaches.”

When asked to describe the moment when she realise she would be the next England captain, Thomas reflected: “I imply, I had no concept. It was two years. I had solely performed 5 video games.

“It was the beginning of the Pony international championships, which was the home international championships. And we were playing Scotland and Wales and on the night before Wales played Scotland, [Tommy Tranter] pulled me to one side and said he was going to make me captain. I was over the moon. Absolutely.”

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Carol Thomas captained the Lionesses from 1976 to 1985

Thomas was the first England captain to win a global match – the residence internationals towards Scotland and Wales in 1976. To add to her achievements, she was additionally the first captain to lead England outdoors of Europe in 1981 at the Portopia match in Japan.

Thomas says she felt a little bit nervous taking on the captaincy however added: “I enjoyed playing the game and the girls around me that were playing at that time, we were just like one big happy family.

“And so, there was no issues. I simply captained in my manner and to me it clearly labored as a result of I used to be captain for 11 years.”

Just like she did in Japan, Thomas was also the first captain to lead England into a European Cup final against Sweden in 1984. Although they were runners up, Thomas can not hide her pride at skippering the side for the game.

“I used to be so proud to be captain, not solely taking part in for England, however captaining my staff in the first ever UEFA championship remaining for ladies, immensely proud to have led them to that remaining.”

Thomas achieved her first cap in 1974 towards France and went on to turn into the first English woman to obtain 50 caps for England – considered one of the many key milestones in her profession.

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Carol Thomas was lately inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame at St George's Park

“A great achievement. And I was again so proud,” she stated. “I’ve had so many firsts in my career, it’s unbelievable really.

“And like I say to the grassroots women that I communicate to, you carry on taking part in and having fun with and you may see the world. You can see nice issues by taking part in ladies’s soccer.”

Thomas captained England for seven consecutive tournaments and after a long run as captain, the record was eventually beaten by Faye White in 2011.

The landscape of women’s football has changed over the years and Thomas reflected: “It’s gone on from power to power and positively since the mid-90s, when it got here beneath the umbrella of the FA, clearly there’s extra money coming in. You’ve bought the WSL now and numerous the women which can be taking part in for England, most of them are skilled.

“So that’s helped the game on, and I like to think that we were just that little stepping stone to putting them to where they are now in the women’s game.”

When requested if she would really like to captain the fashionable England aspect, she stated: “Had you asked me when I was a 19, 20-year-old just setting off, I would love to have had the chances that the girls have now. I would just say to them, enjoy it and make the most of your time playing women’s football at the highest level.”

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Carol Thomas reveals her recommendation to present England Women captain Leah Williamson

Thomas gave a few of her recommendation to present England Women captain Leah Williamson forward of the Women’s Euros this summer time.

She concluded: “Tell the team to go out there, enjoy it, and just play the best you can. They’ve done all the coaching, they’ve done the training, and hopefully the results will come for them. And I’m sure she’ll be a great captain.”

Follow Euro 2022 throughout Sky Sports

Keep up with all the newest from Euro 2022 throughout Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer time.

Coverage might be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give evaluation all through the match.

They can even be joined by skilled England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.

The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which can comply with the Sky Sports News staff round the nation to the numerous stadiums the place matches are being performed.

In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast might be rebranded for the match to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast rom 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it should function unique information and participant interviews as well as to a robust programme line up round the match.

Euro 2022: The teams…

Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland

Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland

Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland

Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland

Euro 2022: The schedule…

Group stage

Wednesday July 6

Group A: England vs Austria – kick off 8pm, Old Trafford

Thursday July 7

Group A: Norway vs Northern Ireland – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s

Friday July 8

Group B: Spain vs Finland – kick off 5pm, Stadium MK

Group B: Germany vs Denmark – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Saturday July 9

Group C: Portugal vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village

Group C: Netherlands vs Sweden – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane

Sunday July 10

Group D: Belgium vs Iceland – kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium

Group D: France vs Italy – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium

Monday July 11

Group A: Austria vs Northern Ireland – kick off 5pm, St Mary’s

Group A: England v Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Tuesday July 12

Group B: Denmark vs Finland – kick off 5pm, Stadium MK

Group B: Germany vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Wednesday July 13

Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane

Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – kick off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village

Thursday July 14

Group D: Italy vs Iceland – kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium

Group D: France vs Belgium – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium

Friday July 15

Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s

Group A: Austria vs Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Saturday July 16

Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick off 8pm, Stadium MK

Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Sunday July 17

Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane

Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village

Monday July 18

Group D: Iceland vs France – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium

Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium

Knockout section

Quarter-finals

Wednesday July 20

Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Thursday July 21

Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Friday July 22

Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village

Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium

Semi-finals

Tuesday July 26

Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane

Wednesday July 27

Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK

Final

Sunday July 31

Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick off 5pm, Wembley

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