England youngster Georgia Stanway played the full 90 minutes in an unfamiliar number four position, as the Lionesses emerged victorious over fellow home nations side Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
Stanway’s Manchester City teammates Lucy Bronze and Ellen White (hat-trick) got the goals alongside debutant Ella Toone in a resounding 6-0 win.
Speaking to FAWSL Full-Time following the victory, Stanway explained “Keira (Walsh) got a knock late on in training the other day and I was called upon, but I just took it in my stride.
“I know that I’m able to play in that position, because I like to tackle, I like to pass and obviously those are the attributes you need for a number four.
“I’m always working on technical consistency and on my passing whether that be short or long range, and I’m the type of player that always likes to put their body on the line, so I think that all puts me in good stead for that position.”
Despite her versality; having played across the forward line, at number ten and even at right-back for Manchester City, this was a new challenge for the 22-year-old. However, it was one she certainly enjoyed.
“I was able to get involved and try and win the ball back for the girls,” she said. “I enjoyed it out there, it’s important that everybody gives as much as they can, and we did that today and that’s how we got the result that we wanted.”
With the Olympic Games in Tokyo on the horizon and only 18 spots on the roster from across the home nations, versatility is all the more vital, something Stanway also acknowledged.
“I’m the type of player that will slot in anywhere and try and do a job for the team.
“I’ve got my non-negotiables and the things that I can personally control, so if I take them into the positions I’m put in then hopefully I can do the job well enough.
“I’m just trying to control what I can control, and that’s obviously the work that I do on grass, the work that we do on the training pitch and obviously the work we do outside of camp, and we’ll see what happens.” Stanway concluded.
The win capped off an excellent first camp in charge for interim coach Hege Riise, in which the Lionesses looked as sharp and as clinical as they have since the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. Utilising a mixture of international veterans and young talents, with four players handed their competitive debuts in the fixture, Riise marked the beginning of the new regime in style.
In regards to life under fresh leadership and the changes implemented by the new coaches, Stanway said “I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s been exciting to see fresh faces and another way of learning.
“I think it’s just people coming in and giving their extra one percent, and they’ve got different concepts.
“They’ve come in and made sure that we’re just making minor tweaks to hopefully better our performances going forward. That will hopefully put us in good stead for the future.”
Stanway will return to club action this weekend when Manchester City travel to Birmingham City in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.