Earps: We can’t wait to see the fans in numbers

Wednesday 06 July 2022 10:27

Manchester United Women's goalkeeper Mary Earps has expressed the excitement in the England camp at opening a home Euros in front of a sell-out crowd at Old Trafford this evening.

The Lionesses take on Austria in the first match of this summer’s European Championship at 20:00 BST, with a capacity attendance expected at the Theatre of Dreams. 

In preparation for the match, Earps and co travelled up to Manchester from St George’s Park on Monday evening and have been getting comfortable in what are familiar surroundings for the goalkeeper ever since.
Our three Lionesses trained on the Old Trafford pitch with England on Tuesday evening.

Mary along with her United team-mates Alessia Russo and Ella Toone are in the England squad for the tournament and, therefore, have a unique opportunity to literally feature at home in a major tournament with the curtain-raiser in M16 later on.

“I think it just makes it that little bit more special for the home players, if you like, but we’re all home,” Earps said, speaking on England’s ‘Lionesses Live’ show yesterday.

“England is just amazing and I can’t wait to see the fans show up in numbers. 

“But definitely, I know the United fans will be coming strong as they always do at Old Trafford, they take that stuff very, very seriously so for us to have kind of been in there, been in the stadium before, I think it just gives us that little bit of a familiar feel.

“Me, Tooney and Less were just talking about how it kind of feels like home so it’s just nice to be in a place that feels familiar and obviously we’ve got a big game ahead of us tomorrow.”

The trio, of course, have previous experience in front of a crowd at the stadium following our victory over Everton in front of over 20,000 fans there in March.

More than triple that number are expected inside the ground this evening and Earps says that it’s an atmosphere and an environment that will be cherished. 

“I think whenever we’ve played in packed, packed crowds, that obviously makes it super difficult for us to communicate with one another but we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

“Voices [have] gone at the end of the game, but these are the moments and the games that you live for, and we just want to represent the badge as best as we can and with pride, and make sure we make everyone who comes out to watch, and watch on TV, proud as well.”

Women’s Euro 2022: A guide


Find out all you need to know about this summer’s tournament and which Reds are set to feature.

Since the Women’s Super League season came to a conclusion nearly two months ago, the focus for our Euro-involved Reds across the competition has very much been on preparing as meticulously as possible for the weeks ahead. 

For Earps and her England team-mates, the countdown is very nearly over off the back of wins in warm-up matches over Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland in recent weeks.

“This last week has obviously been a bit of a waiting game, but I think before that, we had steps and processes that we needed to go through.

“We were just kind of champing at the bit to go through every single one, but now [in] the last week, you’re trying not to look too far ahead but you know it’s creeping on the horizon. 

“So, everyone’s champing at the bit to get going.”