Women's Team

Hemp: My City colleagues have helped me so much!

Hemp: My City colleagues have helped me so much!
Lauren Hemp says her City team mates have helped play a key role in her development into one of this country’s most exciting young talents.

Selected as part of Hege Riise’s 18-strong Great Britain squad for this summer’s Olympic Games, the City winger will be joined by nine of her teammates at the Tokyo showpiece.

The 20-year-old’s selection came on the back of a standout season at the Academy Stadium, which saw her voted PFA Young Player of the Year for a second successive season.

And ahead of the Olympic tournament in Japan, Hemp paid tribute to the influence of her City teammates as she reflected on the 2020/21 campaign.

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She revealed how her colleagues had allowed her to express herself on the pitch – and the striker also pinpointed the way she had learnt from experienced City colleagues – and fellow Great Britain squad members - Steph Houghton, Lucy Bronze and Jill Scott.

“It’s a special group and they give me the confidence to be myself on the pitch,” Hemp explained.

“It’s taken me a while to have that confidence and I'm thankful for the team who have given me that freedom to be myself on the ball and contribute with goals and assists.

WATCH: Hemp: PFA Award one of the best accolades

“If I didn't have that confidence, then I wouldn't necessarily do the things that I'm good at so the team have been important for that because they do give me the confidence to do that.

“(In terms of who I’ve learned from the most) I'd probably say the older, more experienced players, such as Steph, Jill and Lucy who have been here for quite a while but it's not just them.

“It's nice to see them in training, in the gym, what things they're doing and how they're getting better so that when in the future, I'm looked up to as a role model and can do that for the younger girls.”

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Going for gold amidst the unique and rarefied atmosphere of an Olympiad will bring its own unique set of pressures for Hemp and her Great Britain team-mates.

But the 20-year-old says that far from being affected by such high stakes, the bigger the occasion the better as far as she is concerned.

“I quite like pressure, I like playing in the big games – the ones against Chelsea, Arsenal United… they're the ones you want to be involved in,” Hemp revealed.

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“I know there's a pressure on me and I know I'm still young and as we get older, there's going to be even more pressure being put on me but that's what I want to do and that's how you're going to be the best.

“If there's pressure on you to be contributing with goals and assists, if that pressure is not on me, then it means that I’m not expected to do that.

“I want to be expected to do that because I want to be the best and I'm going to try and get there.”

Team GB's first match of the Olympic games sees them lock horns with Chile in Group E on Wednesday 21 July with kick-off scheduled for 08:30 (UK).

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