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Toni Duggan: Winning in Canada would change perceptions forever

England and Manchester City forward Toni Duggan on the challenges she has faced en route to the summit...

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"Being a young female footballer was tough. At school, I was the little girl from Year 3 trying to get the ball off the Year 6 boys, but it didn't faze me. I loved it. I had two brothers and I'd always play with them. 

"I played in boys' teams and remember having to take my kit home because I couldn't get changed with them in the dressing room. I used to get stick for being the only girl, but derogatory comments from the opposition simply inspired me to do better and train harder.

"I got an England call-up when I was 12 but I could've easily drifted off into something else. Luckily, I had the support of people around me; my mum, team-mates and coaches. Playing football involves sacrifice, but it's worthwhile when your'e achieving things you never thought possible. Women's football has worked hard to get to where it is today - and we're continuing to develop a pathway for girls coming through. My aim is to win something with England, hopefully this year. That's what every footballer dreams of."