Women's Team

Bronze: Hemp reminds me a lot of myself

Bronze: Hemp reminds me a lot of myself
As career achievements go, few CVs glitter more brightly than Lucy Bronze’s.

Boasting a mantelpiece full of sparkling silverware – collective and individual trophies – the City and England international is widely regarded as one of the best players on the planet.

A three-time European Champion, who has enjoyed domestic clean sweeps in both England and France, the 29-year-old has savoured plenty of team success.

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Also FIFA’s The Best Women’s Player of the Year, UEFA’s 2019 Player of the Year, a two-time PFA Players’ Player of the Year and BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, her contributions to the game have earned widespread individual acclaim.

As any player adds to his or her ever-growing list of accomplishments, standing proudly as one of the game’s pioneers and a household name across the world, the question begs: ‘Who is the next Lucy Bronze?’

Who could possibly match the pace of the rapid full-back? Who could go head-to-head in a battle of strength? Who could provide such an influential contribution?

Upon her return to City in September, Bronze asserted a new ambition: to help to inspire the next generation of young British talent.

Gareth Taylor’s side feature plenty of home-grown quality players – evident with the astonishing 11-strong contingent in Team Great Britain’s Olympic squad and most recently, a second successive PFA Young Player of the Year award for Lauren Hemp.


                        Bronze: Hemp reminds me a lot of myself

While Hemp plays in a more advanced role to Bronze – often on the left side of a potent attacking trident – Bronze says she can she similarities between the young winger and herself – both on and off the pitch.

Lauren Hemp is the one I can see myself in,” she said. “People may be surprised by that but I can see a lot of me in her.

“She’s quicker than I am but I think I’ve just got a bit more determination to keep going. I don’t let her get off with anything!

“Off the pitch, I think she’d agree she’s strange – a bit different to everyone else – and I was like that when I was younger!

“I didn’t always smile when I was happy or cry when I was sad. I didn’t always show my emotion but always gave 100% on the pitch, running around and wanting to be the best.

“Maybe that’s why she’s one of the ones I gravitate towards. I know how it can be when people can misunderstand your personality.”

And for Bronze, one of the most rewarding experiences in her career is helping young players adopt the qualities and characteristics of the older cohort, as each new generation gains something from the last while also benefitting from the ever-growing positive changes in women’s football.


                        Bronze: Hemp reminds me a lot of myself

“That’s one of the things I enjoy the most about coming in everyday – matching myself up against someone like Lauren Hemp, pushing her in training every day,” she added.

“I remember when I was 20, 21 and wanting to go up against the best players in training and in games.

“I remember signing for Everton and playing against England internationals like Fara Williams, thinking: ‘This is so good!’

“There’s so much young talent in the City squad who all have such great futures ahead of them – players like Hemp, Esme Morgan, Chloe Kelly

“When I come to training, I really enjoy pushing players like that, helping them to develop.

“It’s great to be a small part of that.”

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