Lauren Hemp determined to ‘get even better’ as England gear up for home Euros
Lauren Hemp is feeling confident about her capabilities as she readies herself for a first major tournament with England after claiming yet another PFA young player of the year award.
The 21-year-old was last week named winner of the PFA accolade for a third successive season and fourth time in total following a 2021-22 in which she scored 21 goals and provided 10 assists for Manchester City.
The season also saw Hemp break her England duck in emphatic fashion, netting four times in November’s 20-0 thrashing of Latvia, and she has subsequently taken her tally to six goals in 19 caps.
The forward, who played for Great Britain at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, has been tipped to shine for the Lionesses at this summer’s home Euros.
And she said: “I’d love to go to that first major tournament. It would be a massive occasion for me.
“I’ve come off the back of a good season at City – personally I’ve been quite content with how I’ve done.
“There’s still so much more for me to do and so much more areas of improvement, but I’m on the right track and hopefully that’ll just continue to get even better.
There’s still so much more for me to do and so much more areas of improvement, but I’m on the right track and hopefully that’ll just continue to get even better.
“I think it (winning another young player of the year award) gives me confidence.
“I always put pressure on myself to perform. It’s important that I keep being consistent – that’s something I’ve been working on recently, just to make sure my performances are getting better and better.
“I’m focused on England, getting good performances and the Euros, which is a big thing.”
Hemp is part of a 28-player provisional England squad that is soon to be to cut down by boss Sarina Wiegman to a final 23, with an announcement scheduled for 5pm on Wednesday.
The team will then face Belgium at Molineux the next day, with further warm-up matches against Holland at Elland Road and Switzerland in Zurich to follow before they open the Euros by playing Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.
England, undefeated since Wiegman took charge last September with nine victories in 11 matches, have been beaten semi-finalists in each of their last three major tournaments – the last-four loss at the 2017 Euros was to hosts and eventual winners Holland, who were managed by Wiegman.
Hemp said: “We know there’s going to be a lot of pressure on us come the Euros, but we’ve had meetings and things like that that is going to help us be able to control the pressure. It’s really exciting and I’m really excited.
“I think it’s important that we just do ourselves proud. We know that we’re on this journey together and we’ve been through a lot, and obviously we’ve got a great set of coaching staff around us.
“It’s about dealing with that pressure and not putting too much on ourselves because we want to perform at the best level possible and that’s what we’re hopefully going to do.
“It’s (important to) make sure we prepare in the right way so when the Euros start, we’re all in the best possible shape so hopefully we can go as far as possible.”
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