International

Road to the World Cup: Fran Kirby 

The month that hosts the Women's World Cup begins and with it, so does our series of preview interviews with the Chelsea players who will be taking part...


With England's Lionesses aiming to achieve their long-term target of reaching a final of a FIFA Women’s World Cup, we spoke to Chelsea Women’s forward Fran Kirby ahead of the biggest women’s sporting event of the year…

The 25-year-old will be heading to her second World Cup as one of the Lionesses’ star names. So far in her England career she has notched 12 goals and made the most assists and key passes in that time. She is expected to be a force to be reckoned with across the English Channel this month.

So Fran, how excited are you for the World Cup?

‘Obviously really excited, I think it’s going to be the biggest World Cup for women’s football so it’s really special that I’m able to be a part of that.

‘We’ve got a really exciting squad going out so hopefully we can do well and bring the buzz back for the new WSL season.’
 

What do you think of the group in which England have been drawn?

‘Obviously it’s a tough group, but I don’t think any you would consider easy. Women’s football has just built and built, so there is no group really where you think, oh I want to be in that group.

‘I’m really excited to play Scotland again, we played them in the Euros and it will be a completely different game because they have got a bit more experience. Obviously Japan, everyone knows about them and Argentina I’ve never played them before.’
 

England’s chances overall?

‘I think we have a really good chance. We have a great mixture of fresh players coming in and then a lot of experience as well, so I think it’s a really exciting squad.

‘Everyone who has been selected has performed well in the WSL this year so that’s a positive going into a tournament. There is just a real buzz because everyone is so excited, so hopefully we can use the experience and freshness to get us far.’
 

The tournament in 2015 was your first World Cup and it did not go as well as you hoped, did it..?

‘The last World Cup was mixed emotions for me, it started off so well and then I got an injury. It was a bit difficult for me but I’m hoping this time that I can stay fit throughout the whole World Cup and play as well as I can when called upon.

‘I want to help the team get to a final now, we’ve been to two semi-finals in the last tournaments and we all know how much that hurt when we didn’t make it to the final so I want to be able to do my part to make sure we get to that final and hopefully win.’
 

Have you got a highlight from your international career so far?

‘It’s out of three. Of course my debut, scoring my first World Cup goal and then winning the bronze medal in 2015.

‘I don’t think you can really top the third one, but individually will be the first two and then my best team achievement will be winning that bronze medal.’
 

Any home comforts that will be going with you?

‘Well I did look into taking my dog, I’m not going to lie… No I’m only kidding really!

‘But no not really, I think I just want to embrace the whole tournament, the last tournament I was a bit inexperienced so I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I should have This time I’m going to go completely all in and live my best life while focusing on the World Cup, I don’t think I’m going to think about anything else!’

The Lionesses’ final warm-up friendly takes place today [Saturday] at 1pm against Ali Riley’s New Zealand at the American Express Community Stadium, the home of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Live coverage of this match, plus all World Cup fixtures will be shown across the BBC’s TV, radio, the Red Button and online platform.

Click here to view more information on the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The tournament in 2015 was your first World Cup and it did not go as well as you hoped, did it..?

‘The last World Cup was mixed emotions for me, it started off so well and then I got an injury. It was a bit difficult for me but I’m hoping this time that I can stay fit throughout the whole World Cup and play as well as I can when called upon.

‘I want to help the team get to a final now, we’ve been to two semi-finals in the last tournaments and we all know how much that hurt when we didn’t make it to the final so I want to be able to do my part to make sure we get to that final and hopefully win.’
 

Have you got a highlight from your international career so far?

‘It’s out of three. Of course my debut, scoring my first World Cup goal and then winning the bronze medal in 2015.

‘I don’t think you can really top the third one, but individually will be the first two and then my best team achievement will be winning that bronze medal.’
 

Any home comforts that will be going with you?

‘Well I did look into taking my dog, I’m not going to lie… No I’m only kidding really!

‘But no not really, I think I just want to embrace the whole tournament, the last tournament I was a bit inexperienced so I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I should have This time I’m going to go completely all in and live my best life while focusing on the World Cup, I don’t think I’m going to think about anything else!’

The Lionesses’ final warm-up friendly takes place today [Saturday] at 1pm against Ali Riley’s New Zealand at the American Express Community Stadium, the home of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Live coverage of this match, plus all World Cup fixtures will be shown across the BBC’s TV, radio, the Red Button and online platform.

Click here to view more information on the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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