Having made her England debut at the Cyprus Cup in March, and been inspired by the Lionesses at the World Cup, Amy Turner now wants a taste of the action in the Euro 2017 qualifying campaign.
Turner, formerly of Doncaster Rovers Belles and Sheffield FC, was a late replacement for the injured Casey Stoney and she admits her time in Cyprus was “a whirlwind”, but it made her realise how much she wanted to be a part of the senior set-up.
Estonia v England
UEFA Women's Euro 2017
Group 7 qualifier
5pm BST, Monday 21 September
A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn
She said: “In Cyprus, I got a taste of what things are like with England. And after getting that taste I thought to myself ‘I want to do this now’. It gave me a shift in my mindset.
“A few years ago I thought my time had gone. I wasn’t playing at a particularly high level and I thought my chance of getting into the national team was over. I never expected it to happen.
“So getting that taste, enjoying it, and hopefully not performing too badly, just made me want more. Now I want to carry on and achieve something with England.”
Turner, 24, was one of the stand-out defenders in The FA WSL last season – an achievement made even more impressive by the fact she was simultaneously studying to become a teacher.
She attained her Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in the summer and now teaches sports science to 16 to 19-year-olds at Chippenham Town.
Balancing a university degree and/or a job has been common practice in women’s football for decades – and it is on the pitch this doggedness often shines through. Turner is a prime example, and with her PGCE now completed, she is focused on making progress with the Lionesses.
She explained: “Last year I thought I was having a good season in the League. Playing for England was in the back of my mind but it didn’t seem that achievable.
“It was my first season in the Super League so I was just focusing on having a good season. I didn’t expect it to be anything more than a solid season. I never expected an England call-up.
“I felt like I played okay in the Holland game, especially for my first start. So after that game I felt like I had a chance of being involved more if I continued to improve.
“It gave me that confidence to start thinking differently, instead of settling for where I was, I wanted to achieve more.”
Turner is one of eight players in the latest England squad who did not travel to Canada for the World Cup.
But they are at St. George’s Park this week preparing for their opening Euro 2017 qualifier, against Estonia on Monday 21 September.
Turner is one of the younger members of the squad and alongside the likes of fellow rookies Danielle Carter and Isobel Christiansen, the Sheffield native outlined the new breed’s desire to make it on the plane to Holland in two years’ time.
She said: “Having the Euros in the back of your mind can only be a good thing.
“You’ve got to have that belief that you could be called upon and when you’re with England, you’ve got to do the best you can to leave a lasting impression.
“I’m sure we’re all be thinking the same thing. We don’t just want to be here to make up the numbers.
"We loved watching the girls in Canada. They really did the country proud and now we want to put our own mark on the squad."
Turner added: “We are aware that there have been injuries which may or may not give some of us a chance to show what we can do, but we were selected before those injuries happened.
"So there’s a belief in us from the staff already and we just need to prove people right.”