England are taking part in this summer’s Uefa Women’s European Championship in Sweden.
Arsenal Ladies winger Rachel Yankey is part of Hope Powell’s squad and will be keeping fans up to date with a regular diary for Arsenal.com over the course of the tournament.
In her second entry, Rachel discusses arriving in Linkoping, the team's final warm-up game and why her job is providing a welcome distraction.
By Rachel Yankey
Hi from sunny Linkoping!
We've just arrived at our base for the Euros off the back of a five-hour journey and my early impressions of the town are quite good.
"Maybe the Sweden result can be a positive because we'll have to learn lessons and show character quickly"
We had previously been staying near Uddevalla, where we played Sweden on Thursday. There wasn't all that much to do there - some of the squad went and played mini golf but, that aside, we were spending most of our time around the hotel.
It's probably quite a good thing that we've travelled to Linkoping now as it's more of a town and we're only based about five minutes away from the centre. There are flags and posters around the town to promote games and I feel like I'm really in the tournament now.
The girls were naturally really disappointed with the way things went against Sweden. We knew it was going to be difficult against them in their last friendly before the tournament starts. They went out to prove a point to the whole country and the game was on TV too so I guess there was some extra motivation there as well. We started quite slowly and then got back into the game and Ellen scored a good goal. But we made some silly mistakes that cost us and we need to make sure we've improved when we kick off our campaign against Spain next Friday.
Maybe the Sweden result can be a positive because we'll have to learn lessons and show character quickly. We have to go into the next game positively and make sure we kick off with a win.
Last time I wrote, I mentioned that I was off to Emma Byrne's wedding in Ireland. It was a special day and everyone is really happy for her. She had a really good day and sent us loads of messages thanking us for coming to Ireland to celebrate with her.
I still don't really understand Twitter! I don't have much idea of what I'm doing but my room mate Laura Bassett is teaching me how to use it so hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon.
"I just want to sit down and get some work done - that's my normal life and I think that it's actually quite relaxing and provides a good distraction for me"
When I've not been training, I've spent a lot of time working. Even though I'm out of the country at the moment, I've still got things to do. I think it's a good distraction. It can get a little bit boring sometimes when you're in the hotel and don't have much to do. I just want to sit down and get some work done - that's my normal life and I think that it's actually quite relaxing and provides a good distraction for me.
We've been in Sweden for a few days now but I've not really tried much traditional food. We've got a chef out here and the food has been delicious. The chef that we've brought with us is amazing - I need to get some cooking lessons from him!
I'll be back with more next week so keep a look out on Arsenal.com. Thanks for all the support back home and hopefully we can start with a win next week!
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.