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From Wickford to Wembley - Casey Stoney realises her Olympic dream
CASEY Stoney has gone from Wickford to Wembley to realise her dream of representing Team GB at this summer’s Olympics Games.
The 30-year-old, who was born in Basildon, will skipper Great Britain’s womens football team in London.
And she has her sights set on leading the side to a medal.
“If we play like we can and finally get that bit of luck you need that we can definitely medal at the Olympics,” said Stoney.
“I think it’s everyone’s dream to be able to represent their country at an Olympics Games and I’m certainly no different.
“But I didn’t think it would happen because we’ve never had a women’s football team in it before “Being captain makes it extra special and I don’t think there’s any bigger honour in the game, especially as we’re actually opening the Games.”
Stoney will lead her team out against New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday July 25 in the first event of the Olympics before they face further pool games against Cameroon in Cardiff and Brazil at Wembley.
But that is a far cry from where Stoney, a former Runwell Primary School pupil, first learnt to play the game.
“When I was younger I just used a kick a ball around in the streets of Wickford,” said Stoney.
“I tried to join a few teams but they wouldn’t let me play because I was a girl which used to really annoy me.
“I used to play cricket for Rayleigh where my dad played and still lives now.
“However, it was only when I moved away that I was able to play football more regularly.”
Stoney soon excelled in it too, playing for Arsenal, Charlton Athletic and Chelsea before joining Lincoln Ladies last year.
During that time she has won two FA Cups, four Premier League Cups and Division Two of the Premier League.
As well as that, Stoney was FA International Player of the Year back in 2007/08 and she has now also won more than 100 international caps.
But Stoney believes playing at the Olympics would be her best ever achievement.
“The Olympics will be the pinnacle of my career,” said the defender.
“It’s going to be absolutely fantastic and will be one of the biggest sporting events this country has ever seen.”