Lauren Hemp Chats Lego Builds And First World Cup Goal

Lauren Hemp

Jill Scott and Kyle Walker caught up with Lauren Hemp in today’s episode of Lionesses: Down Under connected by EE for reaction to England’s victory against China in the final group stage game.


On yesterday’s victory against China:

“It was amazing, a fantastic result. We’ve been trying to get as many goals as possible. I think yesterday we showed the England we’ve wanted to show throughout the tournament so far. Hopefully long may it continue.”

On the mood in the dressing room after the win:

“It was all really positive. Sarina was really impressed with the performance. It was great to get off to such a good start. We scored six amazing goals which was really important for us. It was just all positive and now we’re through to the last 16 so it’s exciting stuff.”

On scoring her first World Cup goal:

“I was playing in a new role yesterday and I thought whenever someone gets the ball and turns and starts running, just start running yourself. I managed to find a little pocket of space and LJ [Lauren James] played a fantastic ball through to me. I saw the goalkeeper coming off their line and their positioning was to the right, so I just slotted it to their left. It was an incredible moment and one I’ll cherish forever.”

On Alessia Russo’s early goal:

“It was really important for us to get off to a flying start. We scored so many goals and as a group that’s what we needed. I feel like we’re in a really good place now, really confident. It was a great finish from Less, it’s nothing that I don’t expect from her because she’s an unbelievable forward. She’s always got an eye for goal and always seems to be scoring. She’s a credit to have in the team.”

“When you score early you just feel a bit calmer and more relaxed, and I think we showed that throughout the first half. As soon as we scored that goal, we were a bit calmer on the ball, more composed. As you go through the tournament you have nerves to begin with which is only natural. Getting that early goal helped us all feel calmer on the ball, and we were able to create lots more chances. A lot of us weren’t used to playing in a new formation but I think we adapted really well, and it was great to get off to a flying start.”

On her partnership with Alessia Russo:

“Me and Less work really well off of each other. I won’t give the tactics away, but she likes to come short and I like to run in behind. Yesterday we had a great connection, and she also scored a fantastic goal. There were so many incredible goals which just shows the amount of depth we have in this England squad, that anyone can come on and change the game.”

On Lauren James’ performance:

“There are no words to describe her, she’s unbelievable. We see it every day in training and now we’re seeing it in games. It’s great that the world can see what an unbelievable player she is. We see it in the WSL every single week and now the world is seeing that. It’s amazing to have her on this team. She creates so many chances for us and scores so many goals. She had an amazing game yesterday and an amazing game the other day, she’s growing throughout the tournament. She’s a confident girl and an absolute credit to this team.”

On Chloe Kelly’s impact coming off the bench:

“Chloe’s a really good friend of mine, we play at City together. As soon as she came on, she made a difference running at the defence. She was great and managed to get a goal as well. It’s great to see people coming off the bench and contributing and really bringing it. As long as we do that throughout the tournament anything can happen.”

On preparations for the next match against Nigeria:

“I think yesterday was a massive step in the right direction. Obviously, our focus now turns to Nigeria, so it’s important that we rest and recover. We know Nigeria are going to be a tough opponent.”

On being a role model to young girls and the support back home:

“It’s crazy to think that I’m now a role model to young girls because I still feel like a young girl myself most of the time to be honest! I know a lot of people back home are supporting. I see that support every single time I go back to Norwich, back where I came from. It’s incredible to see that.”

On her role models:

“I had quite a few role models growing up. For example, Kelly Smith, and Karen Carney as well. Karen was a massive one for me, coming into the England set up she always was there as a shoulder to lean on. There has been plenty and I’m really grateful for the people, both past and present. It’s nice to carry on that journey, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the people before us, so we’re all really grateful.”

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