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      Laura Coombs admits her England call-up was a surprise

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      The 32-year-old Manchester City midfielder won the second of her two caps in 2015 under former head coach Mark Sampson.

      But Coombs has been plucked out of the international desert by boss Sarina Wiegman for the Arnold Clark Cup as the Lionesses prepare for this summer’s World Cup.

      “It’s very good. Obviously, I know a lot of the girls, so I don’t feel too out of my comfort zone,” he told a news conference. “It’s really good to be back training and in a new environment.

      “I was surprised because so much time has passed and I didn’t really think about the international stage anymore. I was thinking that I was going to have a break during the international break.

      “But I am very happy to be here. It was a shock, but now I’m here, I’m ready to get down to business.

      “It’s not that I would have given up. In my early years it was all I wanted. But when you don’t get selected at some point you have to say ‘I need to put that away’ and focus on the club (football) because otherwise you will be very disappointed and it will start to affect you negatively.

      “It’s amazing and an honor to be here, but it’s not what I was working for.”

      European champions England, who won the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup a year ago, open this campaign and their 2023 games by playing South Korea in Milton Keynes on Thursday.

      File photo of Laura Coombs.
      Coombs has impressed for Manchester City this season (Tim Goode/PA)

      The Lionesses then take on Italy in Coventry three days later, followed by Belgium in Bristol the next Wednesday.

      Despite her relative inexperience on the international stage, Coombs admits that she feels like a senior player.

      “It’s strange that I’m the oldest player here, I’ve never been that player on a team before,” she added.

      “Luckily I don’t feel old. It feels really fresh, everyone is really positive, and the talent level is very high.

      “I feel like going into this now I’m more of a senior player and I feel more comfortable than maybe in the past.”


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