Bristol City teenager Georgia Wilson on her goals - to play for England and win the league with the Robins!
Bristol City’s Georgia Wilson says she is targeting an England spot and hopes by impressing on the pitch for her club in the Women’s Super League, she will open the door to the international stage.
The 18 year-old has just signed her first professional contract for City and had small spells with England in her youth career.
And in an exclusive interview with NewsChain, she tells how she intends to impress, first, current Lioness boss Phil Neville, and then whoever succeeds him next year.
“This season I want to get as many starts and appearances as I can. I want to get as much game time as I can and develop as a player,” she said.
"Of course England is a goal of mine. I was in and out of the pathway throughout my youth career but once I debuted in the WSL I wanted to focus on getting game time in the league.
“I want to get to my peak so hopefully I can break into that team again.”
Wilson made her WSL debut in the 2019/20 season,making eight appearances for the Robins.
This has led to her first pro contract, something she describes as a ‘dream come true’.
"All I have ever wanted to do since I was a little girl was play football professionally.
“Last season Tanya [Oxtoby, City coach] obviously showed a lot of faith in me and gave me multiple starting positions in the team. This season I just want to continue and reward her faith in me.”
She recalls the moment she made the transition from the development side to the first team.
"We had a pre-season match against the first team and from that game they spotted me and asked me to come to a couple of training sessions with the first team.
“I then played pre-season games with them and from there I've just been with them. It was crazy and it was a massive step for me.”
Her move into the WSL was cut short as she picked up an ankle injury in the new year, but she confirmed to NewsChain that she will be back in action for the opening weekend of the season on September 5 - 6.
"My injury had me out for longer than I expected. I didn't think I'd be out this long with it and I guess lockdown gave me time to get myself back ready for pre-season.
“I did my rehab throughout lockdown and yeah I've strengthened it up and now I'm training again. I'll definitely be back for the upcoming season.”
All WSL clubs have returned to staged training, which mirrors that of the men, and strict coronavirus protocols are in place.
Wilson says: "It has been very weird, coming in getting your corona test. At first we were in small groups of five with social distancing and I really liked it because I guess you can work on yourself a bit more and it was more personal with the coaches.
"Tanya was able to speak to me more specifically on what she wants me to do, which was good, but now we are all back together again, finally.
“It's nice to see the girls again and the new girls they've come in and adapted and they fit in the squad perfectly.”
Among City’s new signings are former Manchester United star Aimee Palmer, former Spurs player Megan Wynne, ex-Liverpool defender Jemma Purfield and Matilda Ella Mastrantonio.
The new additions, as well as the rest of the team, have been regularly tested for the coronavirus with the WSL having no positive results for two weeks running.
Wilson says of the tests: “I mean they aren't enjoyable, but after you have had a few it's just standard really, it's not too bad. They just have to do a swab in your throat and up the nostrils. At first I really did not like it, but now I'm used to it.”
The coronavirus pandemic meant that the WSL was cancelled in May with final placings, calculated on a points per game system, declared in June.
City finished tenth, winning just two of the 14 games they played. Despite their form, Wilson says the side have aspirations of lifting the trophy this season.
"Yeah obviously we want to do the best we can. I think last season we finished off well, we managed to stay off the bottom.
“This season we are focused on doing the best we can and at Bristol we want to make players better. They focus more on us developing as players, we are obviously aiming for winning the league, but players are a priority.”
While many have raised concern about the impact of the pandemic on women’s football, particularly with the momentum it had been gathering last season, Wilson believes it won’t damage the support for the game.
“It was amazing to see last season how many people came to our games, it was crazy!
“But I think the main thing is getting football back again and playing, I don’t think it will affect it too much at the moment.”