ENGLAND footballer Lindsay Johnson warms up for this summer's Euro 2009 as part of the national squad flying out for the Cyprus Cup.
Hartlepool's Lindsay is among a 22-strong group taking part in the international tournament in Cyprus starting next week.
England start their campaign against South Africa in Larnaca on Thursday and Everton player Johnson believes that the tournament will be great preparation for the women's European Championships in August.
Lindsay said: "We are definitely going to take this tournament seriously, we have to because there are some really good teams in it.
"We have a tough group with France, South Africa and Scotland but our aim is to win the group.
"If we do that it will mean we get a better draw in the knockout rounds.
"It would be great if we could go on and win the tournament, we really want to hit the ground running"
England take part in the eight-nation tournament alongside the likes of Holland and Russia.
And pacey defender Johnson says that things are starting to come together for England and head coach Hope Powell as they prepare for the Euros in Finland.
"We have been meeting once a month to train together in preparation for the tournament.
"We also played two friendlies against Finland in Cyprus recently and you could see by the way we played in the second game that we the team is really starting to work well together.
"The Cyprus Cup will be great preparation for the Euros because we have the chance to play in a knockout tournament and this will be good experience.
"There are 30 girls in with a chance of being picked for a squad of 22 and its very competitive so everyone is looking to make a good impression".
Johnson, nicknamed 'Lightning Lindsay', has enjoyed formidable success for her club in the Tesco Premier League.
Her Everton side have not lost a single game this season and continue to go from strength to strength.
They recently enjoyed a 7-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest and have two games in hand on leaders Arsenal who have a game in hand.
Johnson will be hoping to take her domestic success onto the international stage.