KB: Let’s finish the job

Karen Bardsley has described the experience of playing at a World Cup as the pinnacle of her career – and says she wants to book her place at the next one as soon as possible.

The England goalkeeper is training with the squad at St. George’s Park as they prepare for Thursday’s qualification game against Wales.

Wales v England

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier
Cardiff City Stadium
7.05pm, Thursday 21 August
Live on BBC3

With eight wins from eight, England need a point from their final two fixtures to book their place in Canada – and Bardsley says it is important they get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

She said: “Any time we step onto the pitch the goal is always going to be three points. 

“We approach every game the same way, regardless of what the situation might be. 

“It is true that we only need one point but everyone’s focus is going to be to go out there and try to win the game.”

Bardsley is bidding to join England at a World Cup for a second time, after keeping net in all four of the Lionesses’ 2011 fixtures – where they succumbed to France on penalties at the quarter-final stage.

And for the American-born stopper, next summer’s finals taking place across the Atlantic will make for an even more special experience.

“The World Cup in 2011 was my first major tournament that I had the wonderful opportunity to play in,” she continued. 

England Women

Showing their support. The footballers congratulate their rugby counterparts on their World Cup glory.

“To this day it’s only maybe rivalled in grandeur by the Olympics.

“I hope we qualify as soon as we can and I absolutely cannot wait to be back in that environment. 

“It’s the greatest stage for women’s football that there is and it’s an absolute honour to be a in tournament like that. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about.

“Women’s football is huge in the States and in Canada so there’s going to be loads of support whenever those two nations play. 

“There’s such a massive following for women’s football in general in north America, so the atmospheres across the tournament should be very special indeed.”

Karen Bardsley in action for England against Sweden in Hartlepool

Bardsley, who plays her club football for Manchester City, also added that the World Cup success of the England Women’s rugby team has helped inspire her and her team-mates to aim even higher.

“It was an incredible sight to see them throughout the entire tournament,” she said. 

“There was so much passion and so much belief. We all watched the game together during the team dinner and we were cheering them on.

“It was incredible to watch and I’m over the moon for them – we’re all really proud of them and the things they have done for women’s sport. 

“I really hope that they get the recognition they deserve for such a great achievement.” 

England take on Wales at Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday 21 August at 7.05pm. 

Fans can buy their tickets via the stadium ticket office hotline only, on 0845 345 1400, and should request the away end in blocks 202 and 203.

Tickets cost £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.