Jill Scott and Ellen White leave England’s Lionesses in a better place after their retirement


    Ellen White and Jill Scott of England celebrate with the trophy during the UEFA Women's Euro England 2022 final match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
    Ellen White and Jill Scott have left a lasting legacy for England’s new generation (Getty)

    There are many reasons why we will miss Jill Scott and Ellen White in the England squad – not least because their retirement makes me the oldest player in the group!

    It’s difficult to describe just how much of a void their decisions leave for the Lionesses, but I will attempt to as both had considerable, and contrasting, effects on me as a person and as a player.

    I was fortunate enough to play with both for England and also, towards the end of their careers, at Manchester City.

    It was very different without them in camp last month but what a time for them to bow out after what will have been the biggest moment of both their careers, winning the European Championship on home soil.

    That means there is more room for other people to step up now but of course we will miss two of the team’s biggest players 
and characters who had such a key part to play in getting the Lionesses to where we are today, as European champions.

    Jill FaceTimed me just before she made the announcement that she was retiring, which was nice. In fact, it’s hard to keep her away even now she has left!

    Jill Scott visited her former England teammates during their World Cup qualifying camp
    Jill Scott visited her former England teammates during their World Cup qualifying camp (Getty)

    She turned up to September’s camp for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Luxembourg – although not with her boots.

    It’s great to hear she is enjoying life after football. It is almost impossible to keep her still for a second and I’m sure she would love to be a part of the set-up for next year’s World Cup.

    Jill has always been very open about what she loves doing: coaching, developing players, helping the next generation. That’s all she talks about. Jill and I had an interesting relationship. We were completely at different ends of the spectrum when it came to personalities.

    Lucy Bronze admits Ellen White's decision to retire came as a surprise
    Lucy Bronze admits Ellen White’s decision to retire came as a surprise (Getty)

    I’m very driven and like to push people. Sometimes I’m too logical and driven for my own good, and Jill showed me how to pull people along with you in the right way and helped me develop as a person more than anybody I’ve ever played with.

    Jill and Ellen are opposites and it is fair to say Ellen’s retirement came as much more of a surprise as she started every match for us at the Euros.

    But now she has called it a day I can see her doing anything she puts her mind to. She would be good in management, she’s also very into sports science.

    Ellen and Steph Houghton have been the players who have always seemed like the textbook pros to me. The players who do all the little things in the gym that you are all supposed to do and look after their bodies so well.

    I am quite good at those things but being around someone like Ellen makes you that bit better.

    There is absolutely no doubt Jill and Ellen have left the Lionesses in a better place than when they first joined the team.

    I know they will both make a success of whatever they do next.

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