Hi Esme, congratulations on the call-up and your involvement. Tell us how you first found out you'd been called up?
Gareth Taylor [Man City Women manager] pulled me to one side at training and asked me what a successful season would look like to me...I gave him about five different answers and none of them was the one he was looking for, because it hadn’t even crossed my mind. He told me to think big, so I said it would obviously be amazing to be called up to the England senior squad and he just told me that I had already done it. I couldn’t believe it at first, but later that afternoon Phil Neville called me and told me how impressed he'd been with me and wanted me to come and show him what I can do.
What were your first impressions of the senior squad?
I absolutely loved it and the girls made it so easy for me. I obviously know a lot of the City girls and others from playing together for England at youth level but even the ones I didn’t know before have been great. I've had great conversations with the likes of Fran Kirby, Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead and really got to know them. There’s a lot of players from City, but we were split into two separate teams for the camp so I probably spoke to those the least out of everyone - it seems like I can’t get away from them at the moment. But it was lovely to get to know everyone and speak to people that I haven’t seen in a while.
How was the training game that you had between the squad?
My team won so I think we were a lot happier than the other team. We had a really good team spirit and when we won, we celebrated like it was the World Cup final. It was such a great experience and the standard was so high. We’ve been doing all of our training and fitness sessions in our separate teams so we’ve spent a lot of time together.
You've been involved with England teams through the ranks, but what have you found to be the main difference between youth set up and seniors?
The obvious thing is just the standard of the players. These are players that have upwards of 50 and 100 international caps and have had experiences of going to multiple major tournaments. The knowledge they can pass on, based on the things they’ve learned over the years is something that you don’t get from the youth level.
Which player were you most excited about working with before the camp?
I’m very lucky to share a pitch with all of the City girls every week, but I was more looking forward to seeing the other girls I play against up close in this environment. Players like Jordan Nobbs, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead - when you see them up close you realise exactly why it's so difficult playing against them. It’s been so interesting and I’m so happy to have been a part of this squad.
What's it been like competing with the likes of Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton and Alex Greenwood internationally, as well as at City?
Every player wants to win trophies and if the club is signing those sort of players, then it shows that’s what they intend to do. With the squad that we have, we can compete for all of the trophies and Lucy is one of the best defenders in the world so I can only learn from watching her. I’m going to challenge myself to get into a position where I'm challenging her but I can also play centre-back so I can compete for a place there too.
What did you take away from the camp at the end of the week?
I’ve seen the standards the players hold off the pitch every hour of the day and I’ve seen the importance of team spirit and togetherness. Working with different coaches means they pick up on little details within your game that you can improve on so I was just trying to take in as much information as I could.