Chloe Kelly says a phone call from Phil Neville to tell the Everton striker she had been selected for England Women left her “absolutely buzzing… and speechless.”
Kelly has consistently excelled for her club side this season and is fourth in the Women’s Super League scoring charts with nine goals in 11 appearances.
Her prolific form has been recognised by England manager Neville, who has included the 22-year-old in his squad for next month’s SheBelieves Cup in America.
Kelly insists she will join up with her national team high on confidence and intent on adding to the one cap she won back in November 2018.
Neville’s squad for matches against world champions USA, Japan and Spain was announced on Tuesday – but Kelly learned of her inclusion two days earlier.
“Phil gave me the call on Sunday evening,” Kelly told evertonfc.com.
“When he told me I would be in the squad I was absolutely buzzing and a bit speechless – but very thankful. I am really excited to get going now.
“It is a proud moment for me and my family.
“But the hard work starts now. My performances this season have been good so I will go into the camp with confidence. There are big players there but I am confident in my ability and hopefully that will show.”
Kelly began this campaign in explosive fashion, twice scoring spectacularly as Everton defeated Bristol City in the Blues’ opening home WSL fixture.
She was summoned for an England training camp in October before being an unused substitute for a friendly in Portugal.
“I have been playing well, getting my head down and trying to get that call,” said Kelly. I knew it would come when the time was right and hopefully now is the right time.
“Being involved last year was about getting the experience and trying to push on from there, getting my face back in the mix after being out a while and showing what I was capable of. It made me hungry for more.
“I had to be patient. I was out for a while with injury and knew I’d need to work hard when I came back to try to catch Phil’s eye. I rehabbed to return as strong and fit as I could.
Extra incentive for England’s players is provided by the prospect of being involved at a home European Championship next summer.
And while Kelly acknowledges the 2021 tournament is on her radar, she is looking no further forward than March’s SheBelieves Cup and an opening fixture against the hosts and last year’s World Cup winners USA.
“They are a great team and on their home soil it will be even better with the support they have,” said Kelly.
“It would be great to get on and show what I can do.
“I will absorb and learn as much as I can from the whole experience.
“But you can’t just be satisfied with the call up.
“You want to get on the pitch and get a cap, not settle for what you have.”