She might regularly pull on the red and white of Arsenal, but Team GB women's striker Ellen White is claret and blue through and through.

The 23-year-old is one of six Arsenal Ladies players included in Hope Powell's squad for the London 2012 Olympic Games - as well as being a lifelong West Ham United supporter.

Aylesbury-born White came through the ranks at Arsenal before re-joining the club following spells at Chelsea and Leeds Carnegie. Since her return, she has established herself as the Gunners' first-choice No9, scoring seven goals in 16 appearances so far during the current FA Women's Super League season.

At international level, White represented England at age-group level and has now earned 29 senior caps, scoring nine goals.

Team GB drew 0-0 with Sweden in their final warm-up match last Friday evening and will start their Olympic campaign by taking on New Zealand in Cardiff on Wednesday. The Ladies will return to the Millennium Stadium to tackle Cameroon on Saturday 28 July before facing Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday 31 July.

White spoke to whufc.com ahead to discuss her hopes ahead of London 2012.

Ellen, you were born in Buckinghamshire and have played for Chelsea and Arsenal, so how did it come to pass that you are a West Ham United fan?

EW - "I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but my Dad has supported West Ham since he was young, so me and my brother have taken it on. We try to get to as many games as possible during the season, which is not as hard as you might think with the Women's Super League matches being played on Sundays."

Who were your Hammers heroes growing up?

EW - "I used to love Paolo Di Canio, he was awesome. Julian Dicks was also a bit of a hero of mine with the way he got stuck in, while players like Frank Lampard were also in my era when I was growing up. At the moment, Ricardo Vaz Te played really well last season and I like watching Carlton Cole. I'm also really glad that James Tomkins is in the men's squad for London 2012."

With 12 nations taking part and England reaching the FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-finals in 2011, you must have realistic hopes of winning a medal at London 2012?

EW - "I think we have got a great chance. Our group is pretty tough but we have got a good team. Our coach keeps saying we need to get out of our group and try to finish top if we can to give us an easier quarter-final. To be honest, there is no point in going to the Olympics and not wanting to win it. It's something completely different and a Team GB will probably never happen again so all the girls are really excited. We don't want to look too far forward but we have got to aim for the medals."

Ellen White

As you say, a Team GB is something unique. How have things gone since the squad met up?

EW - "I think we have got a fantastic squad. We got together on Sunday and have been gelling really well. Five of the girls are my team-mates at Arsenal, so I know them really well. It's been a once-in-a-lifetime experience because I'm going to be playing alongside girls who normally play for Scotland and Northern Ireland. We have got a great team spirit and everyone is getting on really well, which can only be a good thing."

I know it's a cliche, but the Olympics and the new Super League can only help the women's game to grow, can't it?

EW - "Definitely. Having clubs like Arsenal and West Ham supporting their Ladies' teams can only help them by providing them with backing and increasing their profiles. The Super League is on a summer break at the moment and we're unbeaten and eight points clear at the top, so things have been going well. The World Cup and the Olympics are massive sporting events and they get great coverage these days, to the women's game is going to continue to grow."

Finally, when West Ham play Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League this season, who will you be cheering for?

EW - "I'm a 100 per cent a West Ham fan! I know I play for Arsenal but my loyalties will always lie with West Ham so I want them to win every time they play."

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