After her brace against Sweden, Claudia Walker is targeting further goals for England at the Nordic Tournament.
The Everton Ladies forward netted twice inside four first-half minutes in the 4-0 success over the Scandinavian side on Tuesday to help the young Lionesses kick off their involvement in the competition in the best possible manner.
Walker ended the Spring Series as the Blue Girls’ top scorer with seven strikes and has taken that confidence into her international exploits. On 32 minutes, she collected a long ball forward, shrugged off a defender and fired low into the net, before another pinpoint finish made it 2-0.
“I was pleased to score against Sweden,” she told evertonfc.com. “After the season I have had so far, I was taking a lot of confidence into going away with England.
“It’s a good group of girls in the Under-23s with a lot of quality so you have to be on your game to get minutes. It pushes you more as an individual and helps you to improve and progress as an individual.
“There are quite a few forwards in the group this time so I know I have to be on top of my game. Mel Lawley is playing really well at the moment at Manchester City, Beth Mead is at Arsenal and is a really good player, plus you have the likes of Beth England and Freda Ayisi who are WSL 1 players as well.
“But I just try to be myself, play my game and bring my strengths to the team. We are all in the squad for a reason so you have to use it as an experience and a learning curve, even if you are not in the side.
“Thankfully I have started the game against Sweden and scored a couple of goals so hopefully I have shown what I can do.”
England lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with Walker partnering Chelsea’s England up top. It’s a system Everton have used with great success over the Spring Series, meaning the Toffees striker is comfortable with it.
But as she explains, she expects England to deploy a number of different options over the remaining two games, starting with the USA on Friday (5pm kick-off).
“Previously we have played in a similar way to what we have been using at Everton, so the 3-5-2,” added Walker. “But we are flexible and make sure we learn a number of different formations. So we have used a 4-4-2 before and, at times, 4-4-3.
“The staff like to try different things and help build our understanding of the game. We only have friendlies and competitions like the Nordics in order to put into practice what we have learned and make sure everyone has the knowledge they need to go on and play at senior level.
“It’s useful to have similarities between your club and international football. Whatever I learn away with England I can bring back to Everton, and vice versa.”