Stanway set to face inspiration in semi-final
On Tuesday evening the nation will hold its collective breath as England take on the USA in the Women’s World Cup semi-final.
With huge audiences watching the tournament on TV and City players dominating the Lionesses’ team, the tournament has been a great source of pride for the Club.
USA remain one of the favourites to win the competition, but they will face perhaps their biggest test in Phil Neville’s England, led by City and England legend Steph Houghton.
But for one of our younger stars, Georgia Stanway, the game will bring her face-to-face with a player who helped her get to where she is now.
Carli Lloyd’s loan stay with City in 2017 was only a brief one, but the superstar of American women’s football left a huge impression during her say, particularly on Stanway who was 18 at the time.
In a feature in the Telegraph, Stanway revealed that the USA star left a pair of football boots in Stanway’s locker at City along with the message: “Go and do something special.”
Stanway says she took inspiration from the message and has used it to drive her forward.
“I have definitely tried to live by that and do something that has never been done before,” she said. “I’m from Barrow-in-Furness and not a lot of people get out of the area.
“In order to achieve something, you’ve got to kind of leave and try and find it yourself and I think that’s what I’ve done.
“I remember going into the changing rooms at City and not being able to speak and thinking, ‘This woman has won everything’. It’s inspiring to see her journey. If I can get a little taste of that then dreams will come true.”
Lloyd was happy to impart some her vast knowledge on the teenager, including extra shooting practice after training.
“Everyone’s journey is different. My pathway was with the boys in Barrow until I wasn’t allowed anymore which was 11.
“That’s when I had to make a decision and kind of sacrifice my life because the nearest club was two hours away. I joined Blackburn academy and I was there for four years.
“It was two hours there, two hours back, three times a week. So that kind of jeopardised my schooling and jeopardised my social life and it took a lot of sacrifice. But it’s paid off otherwise I wouldn’t be sat here.”
White's hometown tribute
Finally today, City’s new striker Ellen White has proved one of the stars of the World Cup and has an excellent chance of finish the tournament’s top scorer.
The England star has had a superb World Cup so far with five goals ito date and her hometown of Aylesbury has been quick to pay tribute.
Local councillor and former mayor of Aylesbury, Mark Willis, was one of many locals who attended a new mural last Friday, situated in the blank end of a parade of shops.
“It’s stunning,” enthused Willis. “This part of town is a little bit tired, there’s some empty shops, and that sort of thing just lifts it. It’s put a smile on everyone’s faces.
“Ellen is, I wouldn’t say a household name, but pretty well known in the town. And having a young woman – and we know there’s an issue with young women doing sport and exercise – born in the town, reaching the highest level, is so inspirational. It has a real effect when you have someone who is from exactly the same circumstances as you are making it to the top.”