Women's Team

Hemp: Joining City the best decision I ever made

Hemp: Joining City the best decision I ever made
Lauren Hemp says her decision to join City was the best she has ever made.

The 21-year-old made the move to the Academy Stadium in May 2018 as a teenager from Bristol Academy – one of the most exciting young prospects in the women’s game.

Since then, she has blossomed to become one of City and England’s most influential stars and has celebrated the New Year with a new two-year deal with the Club.

Reflecting on her career in sky blue, Hemp says she has been delighted with her development and though she could have had her pick of suitors, asserts she thrives on the challenge of starring for Gareth Taylor’s squad.

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“When I was at Bristol, I knew coming to City was a big challenge,” she declared.

“I was nervous – it was daunting – but I knew it would challenge me.

“It’s the best decision I've ever made to be honest. It took me a year to find my feet but I've taken it in my stride.

“I am delighted [to have signed a new deal]. It gives me stability. I love being at the Club and have done since I signed. I can't wait to keep improving and help us get success in the future.

“It would only ever be City really. It was easy – they didn't have to try too hard. The facilities here are amazing, I am settled in Manchester, I enjoy life. It was a no-brainer.

“I've grown so much as a player. There’s more to do and being here is the best place to do that. The coaches are unbelievable. They help me so much and being around these players will improve me even more. 

“It’s been really good [working with Gareth Taylor]. I have improved as a player and person and he has had a big influence on that.

“He has helped me in a lot of areas of my game and pushes me every day. He's a great coach and great person. I am lucky to be surrounded by great coaches.

“There’s a lot of people at City I can speak to: Steph [Houghton] and Jill [Scott] have been here a long time so I have them I speak to, and Esme [Morgan] my housemate who I get on with.

“But it was easy decision for me so I didn't need to speak to too many. It’s a great decision and I am glad it’s now sorted.

“I have definitely improved off the pitch. Confidence is a massive thing. I came here with not much but it’s grown. I have improved as a person. I am not the most sociable person but I've made a lot of friends here.

“It’s one of the most important things – if you have good relationship off the pitch, it helps on it. I have established great relationships and it would be silly not to continue that.

“It’s really important to have friendships like that. I am lucky to have best mates here.

“I am surrounded by some of the best in the world. I want to keep playing with the best players. Being here is best for me.”

Although City endured a tough start to the 2021/22 season, Taylor’s side have enjoyed a recent upturn in fortunes and have welcomed back key names to the training pitches in Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton.

Hemp says the squad have full belief the campaign will end with silverware with the FA Cup and Continental Cup still to play for and says she has her long-term sights set on the domestic and Champions League titles.

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“I think we definitely will [compete],” she continued. “I wouldn't have signed if I didn't think we could.

“We didn't start like we wanted to but we are slowly getting the form we want.

“We are recovering players and that’s a boost. You are seeing glimpses of the City we want to be. 

“As a team we would love to win trophies. The Champions League and WSL are top of my priority list.”

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