Women's Senior
Women's Senior

England centurion Karen Carney happy to mentor Keira Walsh at France 2019

Tuesday 11 Jun 2019
Karen Carney (centre) has been a mentor to England colleague Keira Walsh (right)

England legend Karen Carney has been providing the proverbial arm around Keira Walsh’s shoulder at the World Cup in France.

Head coach Phil Neville has asked the Chelsea attacker to help mentor Walsh through the demands of her first senior tournament.

Walsh made an assured World Cup debut in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Scotland but Carney was ready to offer guidance to take the Manchester City midfielder to the next level.

England 2-1 Scotland
  • FIFA Women's World Cup
  • Group D
  • Sunday 9 June
  • at Stade de Nice
Carney, who has starred at nine major tournaments – including the 2012 Olympics – during a stellar career, said: "She is so talented.

“I just want her to relax and play because she’s an absolute joy to watch. I’m lucky I get to sit on the bench and watch her play and do her thing.

“If I can help, give her confidence and chill her out, then that is what a 32-year-old with nine tournaments is meant to do.”

Neville has recognised the value of Carney’s leadership qualities and asked her to offer support and advice to the whole squad.

Walsh, a technically-gifted 22-year-old, has taken on board advice that originated from all-time greats as Carney shared with her guidance she received from the likes of Kelly Smith and Rachel Yankey.


“I told her the story that Kelly and Yanks told me," she said.

“That it’s just another game, it’s 11 versus 11. I said, ‘You play against these players every week in the WSL and train with them every day. Have you played in front of bigger crowds? Yes. Have you played at bigger venues? Yes. What’s the problem?’

“If it’s good enough for Kelly Smith and Rachel Yankey then it's good enough for me and good enough for Keira.”

England’s second Group D match is against Argentina on Friday night.

By Jake Stokes University of Derby