OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Bradley desperate for success
By Nick Clowes, Sportsbeat, London 2012
SOPHIE BRADLEY insists she’s more than capable of stepping into the breach for Great Britain against Brazil on Tuesday, claiming there is no chance complacency will creep in for the host nation.
FLYING START: Team GB women's footballers began their home Olympics with wins against Cameroon and New Zealand
The 23-year-old Nottingham-born defender came off the bench during Great Britain’s comfortable 3-0 win over Cameroon after Ifeoma Dieke was stretchered off, and acquitted herself impressively.
After last week’s 1-0 win over New Zealand and the victory over Cameroon – where skipper Casey Stoney, Jill Scott and Steph Houghton all found the net – Great Britain are now assured of their last-eight place at London 2012 with one group match remaining.
Dieke is rated as doubtful for that match and head coach Hope Powell may tinker with her starting XI with qualification already assured – and after a taste of the Olympic stage, Lincoln Ladies ace Bradley is desperate for more.
“It was really special to get onto the pitch – probably the highlight of my career. It was nice to get on and I just wanted someone to pass me the ball really quickly so that I could settle into the game,” she said.
“I’ll always give my best. The two players in front of me (Casey Stoney and Ifeoma Dieke) are brilliant players and hats off to them. In training though, I’ve always given my best and I got my chance.
“We’ll just have to see what happens in the next game now. Ife has been doing really well so we’ll just have to see who Hope picks on the day.
“I think we are really positive at the minute – I thought we played some excellent football, particularly in the first half.”
Brazil, the 2007 World Cup runners-up, will certainly be no push-overs and have also won their first two matches – downing the Kiwis 1-0 after thumping Cameroon 5-0.
But Bradley, who has 15 England caps to her name, has revealed Great Britain are desperate to show their gold medal credentials at Wembley.
“We’re not thinking ‘that’s it we’re through’. We’ll go on to Brazil now so it’ll be interesting to see what happens on Tuesday,” she added.
“We’ve got the three points here and we really want to make sure we have nine points when we go into the quarter finals. We’ll be positive against Brazil and hopefully we can do that.
“Brazil will be a new challenge and we want to keep progressing and improving throughout this tournament.”
© Sportsbeat 2012