Kelly Reveals How She Heard About England Selection

Chloe Kelly says a phone call from Phil Neville to tell the Everton striker she had been selected for England left her “absolutely buzzing… and speechless”.

Kelly has consistently excelled for her club side this season and is fourth in the Women’s Super League scoring charts with nine goals in 11 appearances.

Her prolific form has been recognised by England manager Neville, who has included the 22-year-old – and Everton teammate Sandy MacIver – in his squad for next month’s SheBelieves Cup in America.

Kelly insists she will join up with her national team high on confidence and intent on adding to the one cap she won back in November 2018.

Neville’s squad for matches against world champions USA, Japan and Spain was announced on Tuesday – but Kelly learned of her inclusion two days earlier.

“Phil gave me the call on Sunday evening,” Kelly told evertonfc.com.

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“When he told me I would be in the squad I was absolutely buzzing and a bit speechless – but very thankful.

“I am really excited to get going now.

“It is a proud moment for me and my family.

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03:51

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“But the hard work starts now. My performances this season have been good so I will go into the camp with confidence.

“There are big players there but I am confident in my ability and hopefully that will show.”

Kelly began this campaign in explosive fashion, twice scoring spectacularly as Everton defeated Bristol City in the Blues’ opening home WSL fixture.

She was summoned for an England training camp in October before being an unused substitute for a friendly in Portugal.

The former Arsenal player, who missed the second half of last season following ankle surgery, nevertheless continued hammering at Neville’s door by dint of her sheer weight of goals and wider contribution to Everton’s impressive campaign.

“I have been playing well, getting my head down and trying to get that call,” said Kelly.

“I knew it would come when the time was right and hopefully now is the right time.

“Being involved last year was about getting the experience and trying to push on from there, getting my face back in the mix after being out a while and showing what I was capable of.

“It made me hungry for more.

“I had to be patient. I was out for a while with injury and knew I’d need to work hard when I came back to try to catch Phil’s eye.

“I rehabbed to return as strong and fit as I could.

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02:45

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“I am playing with freedom and enjoying myself and working hard.

“We are an exciting team to watch at Everton and the fact we are doing well is making it easier for me on the pitch.

“I am enjoying my football, you enjoy it more when you are winning and we are winning more this season.

“I have to continue what I am doing and keep trying to add more.”

Extra incentive for England’s players is provided by the prospect of being involved at a home European Championship next summer.

And while Kelly acknowledges the 2021 tournament is on her radar, she is looking no further forward than March’s SheBelieves Cup and an opening fixture against the hosts and last year's World Cup winners USA.

“They are a great team and on their home soil it will be even better with the support they have,” said Kelly.

“It would be great to get on and show what I can do.

“I will absorb and learn as much as I can from the whole experience.


“But you can’t just be satisfied with the call up.

“You want to get on the pitch and get a cap, not settle for what you have.

“It is an exciting time for women’s football in general and Euro 2021 is massive for every English player – we all have our eyes on it.

“But we have to take each week as it comes and keep working hard. Think about short-term goals while keeping the long-term in mind.”

On the selection of goalkeeper MacIver, who started in Everton’s Academy and returned to the Club in January after three years with Clemson Tigers in America, Kelly added: “I am thrilled for her, she is doing really well.

“I am so glad she has come back to Everton.

“She is a great player and great person and deserves her opportunity.”

Everton Women’s first match in their new home at Walton Hall Park will be against Manchester United on Sunday 23 February (12.30pm kick-off).

Stadium capacity for the game will be reduced and capped at 1,500 for the visit of Casey Stoney’s side, while the Blues complete work to increase capacity for future fixtures.

Supporters must purchase tickets ahead of the first fixture at the Club’s new home with no ticket sales taking place at the ground on the day.

Tickets can be purchased here.

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