Impetus’ Ben Gilby was in the Lionesses pre-Euro 2022 media event yesterday and heard from England midfielder Georgia Stanway (30/7/22).
Above: Georgia Stanway speaking to the media yesterday afternoon as she revealed there was a time several months ago when she was told that she wouldn’t be in the team. Photo: Ben Gilby for Impetus.
England star Georgia Stanway revealed in the Lionesses pre-Euro 2022 Final media conference yesterday that she had been told that she was not going to be in the England team several months ago.
“To be honest, there was a moment when I was told I wasn’t. There was a moment where I was told to keep going and close the gap between me and the others. I’m not sure what changed things, what changed her (Sarina Wiegman’s) mind. There were no conversations. It was literally just down to situations.”
Stanway has been a sensation at this tournament, whilst her stunning goal against Spain in the quarter-finals took the headlines, she has been a real engine in midfield, a relentless ball of energy. It is now inconceivable that the Barrow-in-Furness-born player would not be part of this team.
“It’s been a bit of a ride, when Sarina first came into the job, I don’t think I was in favour. When she came in I was playing in defence for City and I’m a centre-midfielder. The Arnold Clark Cup was when I could actually say to her ‘This is me.’ It wasn’t really until the first game at the Euros that it felt like I was in.”
Stanway hasn’t looked back since and cannot stop beaming when asked about England’s progress in this tournament and the knock-on impact of it.
“We’re in such a good place. We’ve dominated the games we’ve played in so far. We know how special it is going to be. The stadium will be packed out, and the fans will be loving it!
“The number of people wearing England shirts with the women’s team names on is mad. It’s not women’s football, it’s not men’s football, it’s football.”Georgia Stanway, England.
“It’s mad. We’re here and we don’t see much, but friends and family tell you. I don’t think though that we realise how big it’s been and how big it will be. It’s mad how many people recognise us.
“We need to stop talking about how big women’s football is getting and now need to talk about how big it is. The TV figures are ridiculous now. The fans are going to be a massive part of it on Sunday.
“The fact that people are going – ‘The Lionesses are playing tonight, let’s get round the TV’ – it’s mad! The next step now is to get as many people as we can in the domestic game, we want as many people watching club as well as country.”
One of the aspects of the Lionesses being in camp for nine weeks that has not been touched upon is the lingering COVID protocols which have meant that the team have not been able to have any physical contact with loved ones for a considerable length of time. Stanway outlined the challenges that has posed for the squad.
“It’s been really hard, I can only speak to my parents from a distance, I just want to hug them. We haven’t seen our families for six weeks. This is the ninth week we’ve been in camp. People assume that because it’s a home tournament we’re seeing them all the time, but we’re not.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s Final, Stanway will be going up against a number of players who will be her new club teammates at Bayern Munich. However, the midfielder highlighted the influence of both Sarina Wiegman and Jill Scott in ensuring she is in the best possible place to be successful in the match.
“Sarina has the experience, she’s been here and done it before, whereas we haven’t. We’ve made sure we’ve focused on ourselves. The biggest thing she has said to us is ‘Play for the little girl that wanted to be here from the start’.
“Jill doesn’t give herself enough credit for what she brings to this team. She always delivers. Off the pitch, she is the person to go to when you are down. She knows how to lift the mood. She always believed in me from the first day at Manchester City. She always told me ‘shoot! shoot! The only person who did…’ Indeed, and look what happened against Spain when Stanway did shoot!
One of the key battles in Sunday’s game will be in the midfield where the former Manchester City star will come up against the 20-year-old German sensation Lena Oberdorf.
“Yeah, the girls have told me that they are looking forward to the midfield battle between us to see who comes out on top! She is a great player. Their midfield is very good. It will be a real battle, but we’ll see who comes out on top. They can see how well we’ve done in this tournament. From the start, it was written in the stars that we would play Germany in the final. I think these are the two best teams going into the final.”