Beth Mead hopes England’s Lionesses have inspired the next generation

England's Beth Mead. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA
England's Beth Mead. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

England lionesses star Beth Mead hopes that some positives can emerge from their heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat against holders USA on Tuesday night.

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Mead, from Hinderwell, near Whitby, started on the left flank for Phil Neville’s England in their 2-1 defeat in Lyon as goals from Christen Press and Alex Morgan cancelled out prolific striker Ellen White’s effort for the Lionesses.

Phil Neville hailed his players for having "given it our absolute all" at the Women's World Cup after their 2-1 semi-final defeat against the United States. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

Phil Neville hailed his players for having "given it our absolute all" at the Women's World Cup after their 2-1 semi-final defeat against the United States. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

“Hopefully we’ve inspired a nation,” said Arsenal forward Mead.

“It’s a young girl’s dream to say you’ve played in a World Cup for your country and I’m proud to say that I have had the chance to do just that.

“The experience of playing in this tournament has been amazing I have loved every minute of it, but heartbroken is an understatement of Tuesday night.

“Me and my teammates gave it everything and it wasn’t enough, which made it hurt more.”

The experience of playing in this tournament has been amazing I have loved every minute of it, but heartbroken is an understatement.

Beth Mead

A record 11.7 million tuned in to watch the Lionesses lose out to the USA, with the tournament capturing the attention of the public.

Mead is keen to finish on a high and take home a bronze medal when England take on Sweden in their third place play-off on Saturday in Nice.

“Of course aim now has to be to finish on a high by winning a bronze medal by beating Sweden on Saturday,” added Mead.

Mead has received a huge amount of messages of support from her family and friends back home, especially in her home town of Whitby, and she’s keen to thank them for their backing throughout the ups and downs of the tournament.

She added: “I’d like to thank my friends, family and the people of Whitby for their support throughout the whole tournament, it is very much appreciated.”