GIRLS FOOTBALL: St Ivo School pupil Lucy making her mark on the international stage
- Credit: Nick Webster
A teenage talent from St Ives is celebrating another England call-up.
Lucy O’Brien, a 15 year-old striker, has been picked as part of the national Under 16 training squad for this autumn and could feature in fixtures later this season.
But while international honours at junior level have already come her way, O’Brien is still prone to getting star-struck.
Her last visit to St George’s Park saw her meet England women’s manager Phil Neville and she hopes it is just the start of her rubbing shoulders with the best in the game.
“It’s really cool to go to St George’s Park,” said O’Brien. “You go there and you know the senior teams all use the same facilities that we are using.
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“I’ve been quite a few times now and it’s just amazing to think about all the great players who have been through there.
“Phil Neville came past us, spoke with all of us and that was an amazing chance experience as well.”
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This is far from the beginning of the England adventure for O’Brien, who represented her country at Under 15 level when aged only 13.
O’Brien started her footballing journey at Milton Colts, advanced through local coaching centres and now plays at the MK Dons regional talent club.
She has also helped St Ivo School win three consecutive English Schools’ Football Association cup finals, scoring more than 150 goals in three years of competitive matches.
But it’s the very top of the game that holds her biggest ambition. O’Brien hopes to one day make it as a professional and play in the FA Women’s Super League.
“Everyone who plays with England is really good but we all try to challenge each other and be supportive,” she added.
“Playing with school is a different experience but we have managed to achieve some amazing things winning the cups.
“It’s great to share that experience with my friends from school and have something to celebrate with them.”
O’Brien’s cause is also being helped by The Nottingham Building Society, who are teaming up with charity SportsAid to support 50 athletes as they try to find their ‘time to shine’, with each receiving £750 of funding.
“The support is absolutely brilliant,” said O’Brien’s mum, Julia Kemp. “We are so lucky because our biggest costs are petrol and getting Lucy to the games and training.
“It also means she has good quality boots and other equipment.”
Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray teamed up with SportsAid in 2013 to help future sports stars get their time to shine. Visit thenottingham.com to find out more.