Ellen has loved her sum­mer in the sun

... BUT IT’S JUST THE START!

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Joshua Richards

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.”

In­jury

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.”

PIC­TURES: The FA

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

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