Ellen has loved her summer in the sun
... BUT IT’S JUST THE START!
A WORLD Cup bronze medal, an FA Cup runners-up medal, breakfast with the Duke of Cambridge at Kensington Palace, meeting the Prime Minister and watching the women’s singles semi-finals at Wimbledon.
It’s not an elaborate bucketlist, but rather the tale of Ellen White’s extraordinary summer and the Notts County striker hopes this is just the beginning.
White made two starts and two substitute appearances for England at the World Cup as they captured the imagination of the nation – and that interest has shown no signs of subsiding.
The millions that stayed up until the early hours of the morning to watch the Lionesses in Canada tuned in again last weekend to see Chelsea beat White’s Notts County in the first-ever Women’s FA Cup final to be staged at Wembley Stadium.
And White believes the women’s game has scope to grow even more.
“I take great pride in seeing so many fans at Women’s Super League games now,” said the 26-yearold. “We get young boys as well as girls saying they look up to us, that we’re inspiring them, and that’s the ultimate.
“We have wanted the recognition for a while, so we are happy to embrace it.
“I don’t get recognised nearly as much as some of the other girls, but some people do come up to me and say how much they enjoyed staying up late to watch the World Cup. It’s nice to hear.
“It’s been pretty hectic since we’ve been back from the World Cup and it’s nice to be back in a routine with Notts, but it has been exciting.
“We got to experience so many different things. I went to Kensington Palace, I got to meet the Prime Minister, I saw Serena Williams play Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon, it’s been fantastic.”
If anyone was entitled to a summer like this, it’s White. After arriving at Meadow Lane from Arsenal last year, she missed the entire 2014 campaign after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in pre-season.
The patient Lady Pies fans finally got to see White link up with England team-mates Carly Telford, Laura Bassett and Alex Greenwood in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham in March and it took the former Chelsea and Leeds goal poacher 46 minutes to open her account.
Since then, she has helped fire her team into the Women’s Super League 1 title race, while they are expected to reach the knockout stage of the Continental Tyres Cup having already seen off the toughest of their group stage rivals Birmingham 2-1.
And having the chance to fight for more medals is something White is cherishing after her injury nightmare.
“When you have had so much time out with an injury you have to grab opportunities with both hands,” she said.
“The results in the league have been crazy of late and if they keep going the way they are then anything could happen.”
SKIPPING INTO FORM: Notts County’s Ellen White tries to avoid the challenge of Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner
GREAT TIMES: White and Eni Aluko hug each other goodbye as they arrive back from the World Cup