Former England Women's captain Faye White believes a handful of familiar faces in the Lionesses set-up will be pondering retirement after Euro 2017.

Mark Sampson's side captured the imagination of the nation with their run to the semi-finals, where they defeated by hosts Holland, but now attention turns to the challenges ahead.

And while the majority of the players who thrived this summer will expect to have more chances at silverware, some of the squad's more experienced campaigners could be at the end of the road.

Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams and Laura Bassett are all 32 or older and the first three have well over 100 international caps each.

But the group is already moving on and, of the quartet, only Williams was selected for the Holland defeat, turning in a poor performance.

White, who called time on England while pregnant in 2012, told Press Association Sport: "I think they're getting towards the end. They haven't featured a lot in the tournament and they will probably need to reflect and make a decision before the manager does it for them.

"Stopping at international level can mean you can carry on domestically for longer, and maybe you question it when you're putting in the same effort and not getting on the field."

Logistically, a central Football Association contract is hard to give up, not least for athletes with uncertain long-term plans.

The battle is already on at club level to harness the newfound interest around the women's game and White sees that as an essential next step.

"Retirement is always going to be a massive call, certainly it was for me because of that contract," she said at the FA and McDonald's Community Awards.

"You realise there's no guarantees of another job – you sacrifice other careers to play football – but you have to be honest with yourself. Normally your head tells you the right time and your heart wants to constantly fight.

"When I started we balanced jobs with playing but the WSL clubs are fully professional now, you train every day and the players earn good contracts and good pay for women's football.

"England should be proud of putting the game out there this summer, showing millions what they can do, and what we need now is stop the drop-off of people going back to the men's game and forgetting women's football.

"We need more people coming to the games to prosper and be sustainable, more press interest and more Mum s and Dads coming with their kids.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't see girls or boys getting 'Steph Houghton' on their shirts now instead of 'Wayne Rooney'."

:: Faye White was speaking at the 2017 FA & McDonald's Community Awards, celebrating 15 Years of Grassroots football. Find out more: www.mcdonalds.co.uk/grassroots

Source: PA

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