She might be a Londoner born and bred but no one needs to tell Everton’s goalscoring sensation Chloe Kelly how much this weekend’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool means, writes Adam LeRoux.
Kelly has been in inspired form this season, netting eight times in 10 Barclays FA Women’s Super League appearances, including her first hat-trick in the competition in a 3-1 victory over Reading in January.
The former Arsenal striker has made herself at home in the northwest after making the permanent move from London in 2018, and will be looking to add to her goalscoring tally when she comes up against Vicky Jepson’s Reds on Sunday.
✅ Lower Gwladys - SOLD OUT— Everton Fan Services (@efc_fanservices) February 7, 2020
✅ Park End - SOLD OUT
✅ Family Enclosure - SOLD OUT
🏟 Main Stand - ON SALE
🆕 Upper Bullens - NOW OPEN
Seats now released in the Upper Bullens for Sunday's @BarclaysFAWSL Merseyside derby! #COYB
Get your tickets: https://t.co/hiWmi5VXzf pic.twitter.com/hJJnrzr24o
“It was probably the best decision I ever made coming to Everton because I knew I needed minutes and I knew I needed to get on the pitch to be able to learn more about myself as a player and really push on my game,” the 22-year-old said.
“I’m not from here myself but I know what it means to play for this badge and I really love playing for Everton, I love the club and it’s great here, so going into the derby I feel like a Scouser to be honest!
“It’s very exciting to be playing at Goodison Park, hopefully we can get as many Evertonians out to support us as possible and hopefully we delivery on the big stage.”
Kelly’s goalscoring exploits will no doubt have caught the eye of England manager Phil Neville this season, as she looks to add to her solitary appearance for the Lionesses in November 2018.
And with the January additions of Izzy Christiansen and Hayley Raso to the Everton frontline, the young England star is looking forward to learning from some of the best.
“I’m really excited to be teaming up with Izzy, she’s a great player and a great character as well, to get the chance play with her and learn from her and Hayley just shows the ambition of the club and how much we are improving season by season,” Kelly said.
“I can always work on the defensive side of my game and I’m trying to do that now, as well as my positioning and off the ball work.
“I’m really hungry to learn and I try to learn from them every day and I just want to be the best that I can be. I’m trying to sponge all the information I can get.
“I will keep working hard until that England call comes, if it was easy everyone would be there so I’ll just work hard and do all that I can. I have things to improve on but if I keep improving then hopefully that will help bridge the gap.”
To follow the action, buy tickets and sign-up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com