Women's Team

Hemp: My best is still to come at the Euros

City winger Lauren Hemp has told England fans there is plenty more to come from her ahead of Wednesday night’s Euro 2022 quarter-final against Spain.

England scored 14 goals in three matches as they topped Group A with Hemp one of three City players to start each match – alongside Keira Walsh and Ellen White.

The 21-year-old has been a crucial part of the entertaining football on show from Sarina Wiegman’s side, whether beating players on the left wing or delivering crosses from deep on the right.

City’s 2021/22 Player of the Year provided one goal and one assist in the group stages as England breezed past Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland.

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Now, with the toughest challenge so far lying in wait in Brighton, Hemp wants to take her game to the next level.

"It's my first major tournament with England, in front of so many fans and it's nerve-wracking, I'm not going to lie,” she said on Tuesday.

“It's just being consistent as well, it's something I'm striving towards.

"Personally, I don't think you've seen the best yet, it takes time and it will take a while. I'm still learning and I need to remember that I'm still so young. I'm taking it all in my stride.

"I've got a great group around me who are supporting me and are doing amazing as well. It's important that we continue this run, everyone has taken confidence from the recent games and it's important that we take that into the quarter-finals.”

While dealing with the expectation that comes in a major tournament on home soil, players have to find a way to switch off in their free time.

For many this may mean time in front of the TV or with a book, but Hemp has a slightly unusual method.

“For me personally, I am always pretty relaxed. I like to keep myself busy and I quite enjoy my Lego, so I am always keeping busy doing that. Paint by numbers also.

“It just keeps me occupied. Sometimes I don’t like sitting there watching TV. I like sort of cracking on with things. I enjoy playing table tennis, but on game day I am more focused and I like to just chill out. I try to keep things simple.

“I have struggled to find a Wembley Stadium, so at the moment I am doing a typewriter. It is pretty random, I just picked the first one I saw and got it sent to The Lensbury [England’s base].

“I saw the other day they had a lego version of the Euro 2022 trophy - but I don’t think they are available for sale.”

Hemp, Walsh and White are joined in the England squad by City team-mates Ellie Roebuck, Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes and Chloe Kelly.

They will face new signings Laia Aleixandri and Leila Ouahabi on Wednesday, who are both in the Spain squad.

Filippa Angeldahl’s Sweden will play their quarter-final against Belgium on Friday evening.