It’s a new summer now – Lauren Hemp says Lionesses have moved on from Euro glory

England forward Lauren Hemp feels the Lionesses have moved on from their Euro 2022 triumph and are determined to refocus attention on their World Cup campaign.

Manchester City’s Hemp started every game for boss Sarina Wiegman during an historic run that ended, one year ago Monday, with England lifting their first major trophy at Wembley, igniting unprecedented interest in women’s football across the UK.

As a result of injuries and retirements, the England boss’s World Cup squad features seven players who were not part of that monumental match, while Rachel Daly, last summer’s left-back, is a forward for this competition.

Asked if it was fair to place sky-high expectations on her largely changed side, Hemp said: “I think, as a team, yes that happened last summer, what a fantastic summer it was, but obviously it’s a new summer now, new challenges. You’ve seen in games in this tournament that anything can happen, but we’re ready for each one.

A full England squad trained at the Sunshine Coast stadium on Tuesday

A full England squad trained at the Sunshine Coast stadium on Tuesday (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“So yeah, it’s exciting to be a part of but obviously it’s a massive tournament where anything can happen, so as a team we’re just focusing on each game as it comes.”

Norfolk-born Hemp, 22, was speaking from the palm tree-lined Central Coast Stadium north of Sydney, home of the A-League’s Central Coast Mariners and the Lionesses’ training base for the remainder of the tournament.

After beating Haiti 1-0 in their opener, England will now play Denmark in the New South Wales capital on Friday before travelling to Adelaide to face China in their final group game on Tuesday.

There were 49 places separating world number four England from Haiti, but they are just nine clear of their more familiar European opponents Denmark, who Hemp said feature “a very big attacking threat” in ex-Chelsea forward Pernille Harder.

The Lionesses began their Australian adventure on the Sunshine Coast before travelling to Brisbane for the Haiti match, and have now settled into the beachside town of Terrigal, New South Wales.

The full squad took part in Tuesday’s training session, which was attended by approximately 2500 locals, mostly school groups, with many sticking around for autographs and pictures with obliging players – though a strong contingent were also hollering for Wiegman herself to pay them a visit.

The England boss has demanded her side be more “ruthless” after Georgia Stanway’s retaken penalty was the only goal against Haiti.

England fans demanded autographs from boss Sarina Wiegman during the open training session

England fans demanded autographs from boss Sarina Wiegman during the open training session (Zac Goodwin)

Hemp said: “I think we are all working really hard in training to make sure we are being more clinical, creating more chances and obviously getting our goal percentage higher.

“But we know it is something we need to improve on and we are working really hard as a team to make sure we are ready for the next game. We will be raring and ready to score some goals.

“We have seen in games that we are capable of doing that, so it’s not like we have not scored before. We are all capable of scoring. It is just about making it click and getting those connections working.

“I think obviously being at a World Cup is new for a lot of us – a lot of us have never been to one before. It’s across the other side of the world and I’m not making excuses but it’s important that each game we build on and we’ve seen that last summer, so we’re more than capable of doing that.”

You might also like...

P