Vice-captain Nobbs happy to lean on older colleagues

Monday 01 Jun 2015
Jordan Nobbs leads England out against China in April

Aged just 22, Jordan Nobbs is England Women’s vice-captain – but, despite her elevated role, she not averse to seeking out advice from her more experienced Three Lions team-mates.

The midfielder had the vice-captaincy bestowed upon her by head coach Mark Sampson during England’s success in the Cyprus Cup earlier this year, and donned the armband in the win over Canada in the final.

The Arsenal star has experience of leading her country at U15s, U17s and U19s level so it is not a role that is completely new to her.

But she is not naïve enough to think that she cannot learn from some of her colleagues – including skipper Steph Houghton and England’s most capped player of all-time, Fara Williams.

Nobbs said: "All the girls have been really supportive.

"I’m sure I’ll still learn loads from them anyway.

"Steph and I have a strong relationship and she said she was really proud of me which is a great thing to hear from your captain.

Jordan Nobbs is held aloft with the Cyprus Cup

Nobbs is held aloft with the Cyprus Cup

"I look up to Steph. She is a massive role model of mine and hopefully I can step into her shoes as and when I have to and use the things I have learnt from her.

"There is a lot of experience in this team and I want to keep learning from the likes of Steph, Alex Scott, Fara and others.

"I know for a fact the knowledge I will pick up off people like that will only make me a better captain and a better player."

Nobbs and her England team-mates are in Toronto, Canada preparing for their opening match of the World Cup, against France in Moncton on Tuesday 9 June.

She didn’t feature in the 1-0 loss to the host nation on Friday, England’s final warm-up match before the tournament, and with Houghton back to full fitness following a recent knee injury it looks as though Nobbs will have to wait until she leads her country out again.

The former Sunderland player captained England in their last match on home soil – a 2-1 win over China in April – but she looks back with particular fondness at the first time she marshalled the side.

Nobbs added: "Putting that armband on before the Canada game was one of the biggest highlights of my career.

"When you’re little, becoming England captain is an absolute dream. There’s a feeling you get in your stomach that you just can’t describe. It really is a memorable moment. 

England midfielder Jordan Nobbs

Nobbs has scored three goals in 21 England appearances

"Luckily we won as well so it was nice to pick up the trophy at the end of the game.

"It was an unbelievable feeling hearing Mark say I was going to be captain, even though it was in unfortunate circumstances, what with Steph getting injured against Australia.

"Even just to be named vice-captain was amazing. Knowing you are going to be walking the team out is a really special feeling.

"I’ve been captain in the younger age groups and whenever any manager gives you the armband it obviously gives you a massive boost.

"But I just want to be a major part of this squad, armband or not."

Nobbs captained England at the U17s World Cup in 2008 and went to the U20s World Cup two years later, but this is her first experience of the senior tournament.

She said: "It’s the biggest tournament you can be a part of.

"It’s something you will be talking about for a long time after.

"World Cups don’t come around that often and you want to make the most of it - and that’s exactly what I plan to do."

By Glenn Lavery in Toronto, Canada