Powell keeps players grounded

Team GB coach Hope Powell will not allow her women's football players to get ahead of themselves as they embark upon their quest for Olympic glory.

Powell's side will launch their campaign against New Zealand at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Wednesday, July 25 intent initially only on securing their passage out of Group E, in which they will also face Brazil and Cameroon.

Powell said: "One of the biggest successes is that we are actually in it as Team GB. That is success in itself. Our ambition, first and foremost, is to get out of the group, then we can address what is ahead of us.

"It's a cliche to take one game at a time, but that is exactly how it is. I am mindful not to jump ahead of ourselves because that can be dangerous. I have confidence in the players I have picked, but it's about delivering on the day. You have to recognise that every country is in it to win it. We are no different."

Powell's squad is packed with experience - Ellen White, Rachel Yankey, Stephanie Houghton and Kim Little were all part of the Arsenal Ladies squad which won the inaugural 2011 FA Women's Super League title, while Rachel Williams, Karen Carney and Eniola Aluko all featured for Birmingham City Ladies as they won the FA Women's Cup for the first time in May.

However, the United States, who were runners-up to Japan in last year's World Cup final in Germany, where England went out at the quarter-final stage, will be among favourites for gold.

For Powell, who recently took charge of her 150th match as England manager, the tournament will be a new and hugely exciting experience.

She said: "I'm not sure it's sunk in yet. It's been quite challenging because of England's crucial games in the Euro qualifiers so the year has flown by.

"I've been so busy that I haven't had chance to until recently to focus on the Olympics, but now I can say 'Wow! This is real'.

"It only really started to sink in when we got kitted out in our GB kit at the weekend. But it will potentially be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Will it ever happen again? I'm not sure."