Friday, September 29, 2023

‘We can all learn from Chloe Kelly’ – Lioness hailed after astonishing World Cup penalty

Jess Park has hailed Manchester City teammate Chloe Kelly’s nerves of steel to help England’s Lionesses through to the quarter final of the Women’s World Cup.

Kelly’s brilliant spot-kick helped England beat Nigeria 4-2 on penalties, despite the Lionesses having Lauren James sent off in normal time for stamping on Michelle Alozie.

Kelly is dependable for England when the going gets toughGetty

That win means Sarina Wiegman’s side will face Colombia on Saturday for a place in the World Cup semi-final, a match you can hear on talkSPORT2.

England hero Kelly has form, though, having scored the winner against Germany in the European Championships final at Wembley last summer and she also netted the winning penalty against Brazil
in the Women’s Finalissima earlier this year.

The 25-year-old has never let England down on the big stage and Park says everyone at City can learn a lot from the Lionesses star.

Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, Park said: “She [Kelly] is absolutely incredible. She works really hard, day-in, day-out here at club level and she does the same thing when she’s away with England.

“You can just see it with the nerves of steel she’s got to step up to the spot and I think it’s absolutely incredible and we could all learn a thing or two from her.

“Getting anybody at this stage of the tournament would have been difficult. I’m very confident in the girls and I think they’ll do us proud. They’ll work as hard as they possibly can and that’s all we can ask from them.”

Park was named on the Lionesses’ standby list for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand but was replaced by Lucy Staniforth after she was forced to pull out before the tournament due to a
shoulder injury.

The 21-year-old – who starred on loan at Everton last season – has four caps for England and says it was a huge blow to miss her first major tournament through injury.

“I was gutted, but it’s part of football. We put our bodies on the line and taking an injury at that point, it’s devastating,” she explained.

“But at the same time, it does happen and sometimes it can’t be controlled. Sarina was absolutely lovely about it and I wished them all the best to go and smash it at the World Cup.

“I’m back into full contact training. I feel really confident. [I have] little aches here and there [but] it’s completely normal and I’m ready to go.”

News that Park is fit for the start of the new Women’s Super League season will be a huge boost to City boss Gareth Taylor, who views the 21-year-old as a key part of his plans this year.

GettyPark is hoping to make an impact at Man City after her loan to Everton last season[/caption]

City finished in fourth place in the WSL last season and have snapped up Jill Roord from Wolfsburg for a club record fee as they try to close the gap on the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.

They start the new season with an away trip to West Ham at the start of October and Park is determined to help City win some silverware following her successful loan spell at Everton last year.

“I think it was really important for me to just go out [on loan], get the experience and play week-in, week-out and feel the highs and the lows and just learn different things from different people,” she

“I definitely have a lot more confidence and a lot more calmness on the pitch. I’d definitely say I’ve come back as a different player.

“We always aim high [in terms of achieving] a Champions League spot and hopefully, win the league. We’re always aiming for that.

“I think we’ve got the team to do it and as long as we keep working hard, game-in, game-out, and we keep doing what we do every single day, then why can’t we get there?”

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