Women's Team

Hemp inspired by incredible England support

Lauren Hemp is looking to capture the imagination of the country after helping England begin their Women’s Euro 2022 campaign with a win in Manchester.

PFA Young Player of the Year Hemp was integral in the Lionesses' opening game victory over Austria as the Women’s Euros got off to a thrilling start.

She helped her side create chances from wide positions, curling dangerous crosses into the path of club teammate Ellen White and was crucial in the build-up to the winning goal.  

Hemp started alongside City teammates White and Keira Walsh as they helped the tournament hosts kick-off on a winning note with a 1-0 victory in front of a sold-out Old Trafford.


The 21-year-old was elated by the support her side received and hopes they will inspire the next generation of young women footballers.

“It's important that so many young girls are coming, and hopefully, we can inspire the next generation and many more people to get involved and play football,” she said.

“It was great to see so many young people and older people as well coming to support and getting behind us.

“Of course, we worked hard for the entire 90 minutes, and the atmosphere was incredible – it was incredible to see so many fans come to the game and stick with us from the first minute to the last. It was fantastic to see.”

The sold-out stadium broke the competition’s record for the biggest attendance with a crowd of 68,871 but while for some it may have felt daunting, Hemp was as focused as ever.

“I think there are some nerves – of course there will be,” she added. “For me, as soon as I get onto that pitch and start playing, I don’t hear the background noise but it was great to have the fans around us.

“Obviously, it's hard to hear each other on the pitch but we communicated through body language.

“For me personally, I think I’ve only played once in front of a huge crowd like that, so it was unbelievable to see, and it shows the growth of the women’s game.

“Hopefully, that will carry on throughout the rest of the tournament, but it was important that we start off by getting a good win.”

Despite taking an early lead, the hosts struggled to close the game off seeing chances from close range struggle to work Austria’s Manuela Zinsberger in goal throughout.

Hemp tried opening up the Austrian back line by switching from left to right-wing but found no luck in assisting her partners in the attack.

She outlined what England need to improve on for their next game and believes there’s still a lot more to come from England.

She explained: “I think there's a lot we can work on, especially being ruthless in front of goal – that’s one of the main things.

“I think overall, it's just being better in possession. I think our press was really good as well – we got a lot of pressure on the ball when needed, we stuck out the result and the win was the most important thing for us.


“I do think we should give some credit to ourselves. We did get the win and that’s the most important thing.

“There’s still so much more to come from this team and I think you’ve seen that in the warm-up games as well. It’s important to stick with us and hopefully, we’ll see so many fans at the next game as well.”

The other match in Group A saw England’s next opponents Norway beat Northern Ireland 4-1 but Hemp asserted England have no fear and are fully focused on themselves.

“It is a wide-open tournament,” she stated. “There are so many favourites and teams tipped to win.

“It’s exciting to see and that’s important for the women’s game to grow, and for us competing for the trophy.” 

Tom Alston is a Football Journalism student at the University of Derby who are reporting on the Women’s Euros.