Elise Hughes has set out her desire to help fire Everton Ladies to victory when they take on West Ham United at the Hammers’ Rush Green Stadium on Wednesday night (7.45pm kick-off).
The 17-year-old striker, who graduated through the Club’s Regional Talent Centre, has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign for the Blue Girls.
She made her maiden Toffees start in a Merseyside derby in December and marked the occasion in style, netting her first professional goal in a 3-1 victory at Prenton Park.
The forward has remained a regular in Willie Kirk’s team, spearheading the Toffees attack with skill, intelligence and maturity.
Everton head into Wednesday’s game in 10th position, four places behind the Hammers but having played two fewer games.
The clash represents the Blue Girls’ first since 20 February, when they gave unbeaten league leaders Manchester City an almighty scare. Everton led 1-0 at the break but were eventually edged out 3-1 by the WSL pacesetters.
Lifelong Evertonian Hughes says she is eager to help the Toffees hit back with a victory against West Ham in east London.
“It was such a good feeling to get my first goal for the club against Liverpool,” she told evertonfc.com.
“I’d love to kick on and get some more, hopefully starting against West Ham.
“It’s just about working hard and trying to keep your place in the team, and then the goals will follow.
“The manager has come in and put his mark on the team. We now know exactly what he wants from us.
“Everyone is working hard and we just need to turn that hard work into results."
As well as emerging as an important figure for Everton under new boss Kirk, the past year has also seen Hughes achieve full international honours with Wales – she made her senior debut in March 2018.
The young forward only turns 18 next month and she believes the environment at Everton offers her a perfect platform to continue her impressive progress.
“Whether it’s from the coaches or my teammates, every day I learn something new,” she says.
“This is a club definitely going in the right direction.
“2018 was amazing for me. It seemed all my firsts came in one year.
"A first start for Everton, a first goal, and a first cap for my country. Hopefully 2019 can top that.”