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Dame Kelly proves to be an inspiration

ATHENS GOLD: Kelly Holmes

TEAM GB football coach Hope Powell has revealed that her players have been greatly inspired by a talk from double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.

The GB women’s football team have a final warm-up game against Sweden this afternoon at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium (Friday July 20 at 15.45) before they kick-off their Olympic campaign against New Zealand on July 25 in Cardiff.

She revealed that Dame Kelly- who won gold in the 800m and 1500m at Athens 2004 - had explained to her players exactly what it meant to be an Olympian and her message had really struck a chord with the girls.

“Kelly came to speak to us and put her take on it about what it actually means to be an Olympian. It really hit home with the girls, about embracing this one-team ethos," Powell, who has also coached the England women’s team since 1998, explained.

“If you've never experienced an Olympic village, it's fantastic. As one team you sit, eat and chat together from all different sports, and it is about Team GB doing well. We want to do well as footballers, but also as part of that whole team concept, which is great."

Sweden finished in third place at the 2011 World Cup in Germany and Powell believes that the game will give her a good idea of where exactly her team are at. “It is a good leveller to see how much we need to do before the first game against New Zealand."

After their opener against New Zealand, the women’s team face Cameroon on July 28, also at the Millennium Stadium, and their final group game is against Brazil at Wembley on July 31.

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