Keira Walsh: I’ve got world class players around me at England


England won their first match of the 2019 Women’s World Cup against neighbours Scotland by a narrow 2-1 scoreline.

The Lionesses have plenty of experience in their team but they also have 11 members of the squad who are making their World Cup debuts in France.

Manchester City midfielder Kiera Walsh is one of the young, fresh players who has never experienced World Cup football before. Karen Carney on the other hand, is one of the most senior players in the squad and is playing in her eighth major tournament, having burst on to the scene as a 17-year-old at Euro 2005.

The Chelsea midfielder won her 141st cap as a substitute against Scotland, leapfrogging Alex Scott as the second most-capped Lioness in history.

Carney recognises her role as a senior figure in the squad and is happy to mentor the younger Lionesses during the tournament.

Speaking about her first World Cup experience, after the victory in their first group game, Walsh said:

“Kaz [Karen] Carney said that I’ve got to give her a shout out for this you know before the game, I was a little bit nervous.”

“She sat me down and was like eleven players on the pitch for both teams, you’ve played against these players in the WSL week in, week out and I play with a lot of the girls at City so she said there’s nothing to be worried about just do your thing so I think having that word off her it really did calm me down before the game.”

Walsh went on to play the full 90 minutes for her country and could be proud of the performance she put in to help her team to victory.

“I think when I’ve got the world class players around me that I do at England, I’ve got Jill Scott next to me talking me through the game I think that really helps.”

“I just tried to play simple and keep the ball ticking over and not try to do anything fancy in my first game you know just try to relax into the tournament and enjoy the game that’s the most important thing.”

For her first game, Walsh can consider it a success and will look to build on her performance when England take on Argentina and then Japan in Group D.


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