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Fara Williams will be leading from the front when England step out to face Iceland at Colchester United's Weston Community Homes Stadium next Thursday (7.45pm).
The fixture is the first of two warm-up games for England as they countdown to the UEFA Women's Championships in Finland next month.
England follow up their Iceland fixture with a friendly against Denmark at Swindon Town six days later and Fara commented: "They're difficult games for us and both Iceland and Denmark will test the team in different ways. It's a good measure of how far the squad has come and it will be interesting to see how we cope with two sides of real strength. They are well organised and physical as well so we have to cope with that and find ways of playing around that challenge."
It has already been a successful 2009 for England, lifting the Cyprus Cup in March and beating Norway 3-0 in a friendly at Shrewsbury Town a month later. "Those results show how far the team has come and the work we have put in to get here," said Williams, who scored twice in the Norway win and is closing on 70 international caps. "We're not going to get complacent because of a good result against Norway. We now have two big games coming up and everyone is going to be fighting for places at the Championships."
England face Italy, Sweden and Russia at the Euros and Fara is predicting three tough group games. "It won't be easy and there are difficult teams for us to face but the belief in the camp is strong," she said. "We'll be looking to do everything we can to get out of the group and then take each game as it comes."
Tickets for the Iceland game at Colchester United cost just £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions by calling (0845) 437 9089. Booking Forms and more information on both Charter Standard and group discounts can be found on www.essexfa.com. Details about female football in Outer Essex can be obtained from Emma Burden on (01245) 393076 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, for Essex's London Boroughs, contact Sharon Brownlie on (01245) 393074 or email@example.com.
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