Karen Carney: I've hated football before and wanted to give it up

Birmingham playmaker tells of her tough journey to becoming Three Lioness linchpin...  

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"My sister inspired me. She was the first person to get me involved in football; we'd use our toy bears as footballs.

"As I got older I had a feeling I'd play for England. It sounds arrogant, but I always had self-belief.

"It wasn't always that way, though. I've hated football... wanted to give it up. I suffered from injuries and depression. It was horrible and I wanted to quit, but you can't give up. What type of person or role model would I be? You can't give up when times get hard. Life is precious and you have to embrace it. 

"I'll be 31 at this summer's tournament and I've got to grasp this opportunity. I've got 100 caps but I wouldn't have any without all the people who have helped me get here. It has been a massive journey and there are so many people who have played a part."