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England expects

This date and little else has been on the mind of England and Scotland since UEFA carried out the draw for Euro 2017 last year in Rotterdam.

(Photo: Chelsea FC)

The build-up has been big, expectations high and excitement even higher – not for my European Championship debut as a journalist, but for a British derby at a major tournament. What better chance to try and introduce fresh audiences to these Euro finals and to cut my teeth in the competition.

First up was a trip to the England training camp, a bucolic setting off the beaten track around Utrecht, in which the Football Association have clearly invested heavily. There I met Chelsea defender Millie Bright for an interview about Love Island as well as her emergence on the international stage.

Banter and Beyoncé abounded throughout the long weekend of preparations, which was when I also made my introductions with our prodigious striker Fran Kirby to discuss the mood in the squad and her return from injury.


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My comprehensive Euro 2017 preview for the official Chelsea website was intended to go out the day before I left for the Netherlands. The arrival of Sweden left-back Magdalena Eriksson, replacing Portugal legend Ana Borges, however, meant the article needed updating with the bittersweet news while I was out seeing the best and worst of Amsterdam before the matches.

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Six of the best... and worst

It was the best of times and the worst of times for the British neighbours as the long-awaited derby between England and Scotland turned out to be one-way traffic. I barely managed to follow the second half, such was the pace of the action and the challenge of writing two simultaneous reports.

Below is a window into what I put together for the Daily Mirror. The top lines were a no-contest: Jodie Taylor becoming the first Englishwoman to score a hat-trick at a major tournament and the Mark Sampson's Lionesses proving themselves as contenders rather than pretenders for these championships.

The Chelsea piece was more complicated. We had as many as three Blues celebrating their role in the ultimate victory over their ancient rivals, but we couldn't take sides with teenager Erin Cuthbert lamenting Scotland's loss.

I did have the pleasure of speaking to Chelsea and England No.10 Fran Kirby straight after the game. She was delighted with her link-up play and clearly buzzing to hav…