Chelsea Women concluded their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over the Israeli Women’s National Team and forward Bethany England, who had been called up to the England squad for the first time on the same day, scored and got an assist on Tuesday.
The Blues' top goalscorer from the 2018/19 season with 22 goals netted her first goal this season within five minutes of our friendly match.
Defender Hannah Blundell pounced on a loose ball and powered into the 18-yard box. She drilled a cross that fell kindly to forward Guro Reiten in a congested area. The Norwegian’s effort bounced off a defender towards England, and our no.9 knocked in from close range.
‘We didn’t really know what to expect from this game, we don’t really know a lot about their team,’ explained England.
‘But we took it like we would take any game, put a lot of pressure on them and I’m glad we got on to score because I think that is one thing we struggled to do this pre-season.
‘We managed to get on the scoresheet with three different scorers which is really pleasing for ourselves.
‘We want to win and the crowd was good so it was a great atmosphere to be part of.’
Tuesday was a great day for the 25 -year old as not only did she score, she assisted the second goal of the evening. England laid off the ball nicely to her team-mate Magdalena Eriksson and the no.16 smashed a superb left-footed strike that flew into the top right-hand corner.
‘I think as a striker you always want to score and assists and stuff so to get that first goal is always a weight of the shoulders, settle your nerves a little bit for the team, make sure we get on the front foot.
‘It’s always great to get on the scoresheet,’ she said.
And on top of that, she received the news of being named in Phil Neville’s 24-player England squad for the first time in her senior career.
For many this had come as no surprise due to her fine form in the domestic league last season having been the third top goal scorer in the FA Women’s Super League, behind Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and previous Manchester City striker Nikita Parris.
‘Obviously I got a call from Phil [Neville] to let me know but I also got an email when all the girls were there and [they] tricked me into looking at my emails because I wasn’t really paying attention.
‘It’s quite a sweet moment from the team, they gave me a big congratulations and it made me a bit teary because they were so nice but it’s a good honour for me,’ England continued.
‘I think going into any national team off the back of a World Cup run is going to be tough.
‘It’s about finding my feet and seeing what the environment is about. I know it’s always going to be really testing and stuff so yeah I’m really looking forward to joining with the team and getting involved in that camp.’