RACHEL DALY says England’s stars are ready to rally around team-mates subjected to online abuse during the Women’s Euros.
And the Lionesses ace says players have discussed how they will deal with trolling and provide support to younger squad members.
Online abuse of sports figures on social media has been an ongoing issue with many urging tech firms to take tougher measures against accounts posting vile messages.
Fifa research examining racist trolling during Euros 2020 and this year’s African Cup of Nations, found almost half of players from both contests’ semis were targeted.
Last July Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were subjected to horrific racist abuse following the Three Lions’ Euros final loss to Italy on penalties.
The England trio were targeted after they missed their spot-kicks.
On how the Lionesses would handle trolling, Daly said: “We had discussions about it a few camps ago, ahead of the Euros, knowing what we know about abuse and things on social media, and how it can be an amazing place but also quite tough.
“We have social media captains in the team.
“I think that’s something that’s really helpful, to get insights for the younger players especially with it being their first tournament.
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“It’s something they can lean on us for support with, particularly more of the older players around the abuse they may have received.
“We shared some of our insights and some people’s experiences.”
England chief Sarina Wiegman added: “We’re just trying to make the best plan to stay away from the abuse and not get it into our system.
“I think there are some things set in place from organisations to stay away from the abuse to just make sure that it doesn’t reach the players so hopefully that works.”
Daly and Wiegman were speaking ahead of England’s pivotal pre-tournament duel with the Netherlands
The Euros 2017 champs, who also reached the 2019 World Cup final, will be their toughest opponents to date.
And the game at Elland Road could see Daly – who is a lifelong Leeds fan – play for her country at the home of the club she loves.
The Houston Dash captain added: “I spoke to Kalvin Phillips a little bit at St George’s Park last week.
“He knows I’m a big Leeds fan and we spoke about playing there for England.
“All the well wishes from Leeds fans are coming through my Twitter so it’s nice.
“My whole family are diehard Leeds fans, and I haven’t played here before (for the Lionesses) so it will be special.
Obviously, it has an added element of sentiment, but we just want to win the game and play as best we can.
“Any cap you get for England is the biggest moment of pride in your family’s life so it’s just another part of the journey.”