City and England star Georgia Stanway recalls the moments that shaped her football career…

1. First footballing memory…

I got into football because my brother, who is four years older than me, played for an under-7s team. I was three at the time and I used to go along and pester the manager to let me join in.

He always refused but eventually, he let me join a session. Afterwards, he said I must have kicked about four boys’ shins and made a few cry but then he invited me back the following week so I must have done something right!

2. First memories of Club football…

I remember arriving at Blackburn Rovers for a trial and I was so nervous! I travelled for two hours down in the car and I had my Newcastle kit on with ‘Shearer’ on the back – I actually picked the yellow kit because I wanted to stand out!

After 30 minutes, the manager called me over and took me into a room to tell me he wanted to sign me. I remember getting back into the car and screaming. I screamed the whole way home! I was so excited.

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3. Moving to City…

Another episode of me screaming – this time in the house!

I didn’t actually know City were interested but Nick Cushing phoned and said he’d love to come up and meet me. He came to visit me and my family and thankfully, it all fell into place.

My season had finished at Blackburn. I was going to re-sign for them but City came in just in time and here I am!

4. First weeks in Manchester…

It was very nerve-wracking! I remember getting in the car from Barrow to come down to Manchester and meeting my host family, who I ended up spending a year-and-a-half with.

Meeting them was exciting but also daunting. I was only used to green fields so moving to a big city was a big step.

Looking back, the first few years overall were nerve-wracking and it took me about two years to speak(!) but I enjoyed it.

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5. First goal for City…

I came on for the last half an hour away at Everton in the Continental Tyres Cup at Widnes. The through-ball came in and I struck it into the bottom left corner with my right foot!

It was incredible because it was only my second appearance. At 16, I didn't think I'd even be coming off the bench so early on in my City career – never mind scoring!

6. First international call-up…

At the time, it was like an Elite Development Squad – a pre-camp. The best players from the north would all get together at Leigh Sports Village.

It was enjoyable but I remember the kit being like pyjamas! Even so, I loved it.

7. England debut and first international goal…

We played Ireland at home at St George’s Park. We won 8-0 and I scored two!

I think my first was a tap-in from a cross.

8. First major international tournament and achievement…

My first was the Under-17s World Cup in Jordan. We were knocked out in the quarter-finals but it was such a good experience.

Then I played in the Under-20s World Cup in France. We made it all the way to the third-place play-off and won the bronze medal.

It was a special tournament for me, as I ended it as joint top goalscorer. I was beaten on assists!

Winning bronze was an amazing achievement. I was so happy for the team – the girls deserved it.

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9. First trophy with City…

It would have been the 2016 Women’s Super League title, although I was away at the U17 World Cup at the time. I also missed the Conti Cup Final the week after!

We lifted the league trophy after I returned home, at the Academy Stadium on the final day against Birmingham. It was amazing.

In terms of the game, it was a matter of making sure we ended on a high. We drew 1-1 but it felt like we’d won because we came from behind to finish the league season unbeaten – and lifting the trophy on home soil… you can’t ask for much more than that!

That was also the season when I’d properly broken into the team. I was getting more gametime, really enjoying myself and scoring a lot of goals. I was still finding my feet but that season is one I’ll always look back on as my first full one and my first two trophies!

A few months later, we also lifted the FA Cup! It was at Wembley and I came on after about 70 minutes. Playing on that pitch was a dream come true, especially with all the people in the crowd, including my family. There is no bigger opportunity than that!

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10. Best goal…

I’m going to have to say the one against Chelsea at home in February 2018 because of the state of the game.

We were 2-0 down and I came on in the second half. Nikita Parris pulled one back and then I scored the equaliser in the last minutes of the game.

Coming on, you always hope to make a difference and it wasn’t a bad way to do it! I just put my foot through the ball and it happened to land in the top corner. I couldn’t complain!

Although the game ended as a draw, it felt like a win with the comeback and straight afterwards, I got my first call-up to the senior England squad for the SheBelieves Cup so it was a very good day at the office!

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