Everton Forward Kelly On What Is Motivating Her During Lockdown

Chloe Kelly intends to be “flying” when Everton resume their Women’s Super League campaign – and the forward is maintaining motivation during the nationwide lockdown by striving to “be better every day”.

Kelly has come into her own at Everton this season and her progress was rewarded with a first England start at last month’s SheBelieves Cup in America.

The Londoner has scored nine goals in 12 WSL appearances for Willie Kirk’s quickly-improving team to aid Everton’s bid for a top-six finish this term.

Kelly and her teammates have been two months without a club game, however – their most recent match was Manchester United’s visit to Everton’s new Walton Hall Park home on 23 February.

“When we do go back, it’ll be straight into it, so we need to stay on top of what we’re doing,” said Kelly, whose side are seventh and separated from fourth-place United by four points with eight games remaining.

“I want to be flying, I don’t want to be sluggish or rusty, so that gives me the motivation to do more work.

“It's a case of trying to change the mindset [during lockdown] to competing with yourself to be better every day. That’s the drive which gets me going.

“Everton send out a programme every two weeks... and I think the link between the Club and England has been great so far.


“Our strength and conditioning coaches are having weekly discussions with them [England staff] and that helps us know what we’re doing is helping both England and our club.

“I’ve been working hard, in the field doing some sprints and doing gym sessions in the garden.

“It’s been tough but, hopefully, as soon as we can get back on the pitch, we’ll be ready to go.

“I’m just very grateful to be fit and healthy at the moment.”

Everton’s training schedule is currently accommodating for a “deload” week, leaving Kelly to fill her days playing FIFA and making good use of her table tennis table.

The Club is providing players regular access to Everton Women Player Care Manager Matt Domville, while manager Kirk’s squad are also working with analysts to review performances.

Kelly, who as an England international is involved in the Players Together movement – instigated to provide funds for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic – says the Club’s concern for its players is mirrored by its Blue Family campaign to maintain contact with fans and provide support and assistance for socially-isolated and at-risk members of the community.

“It’s a great thing for Everton to be giving back to the supporters and sticking by them at this time because we know it’s tough for everyone,” said Kelly.

“Everton are a real family club and at this moment in time they are doing all they can to provide for fans and support the fans in need.

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11:53 Thu 23 Apr 2020

SANSOM AND BRANCH ON EVERTON'S SUPPORT FOR HOMELESS

Former Blues discuss power of Everton in the Community's Home Is Where The Heart Is initiative.


“We are sticking together as a Blue Family and it is exciting to hopefully be able to speak to some fans myself in the coming weeks.

“Players Together [which includes Premier League players and the England Women squad] is a great chance for us to give back… we’re grateful to be in the position we are so we’re really happy to all stick together at this time.”

Kelly made her senior England debut in November 2018 – 11 months after completing a permanent move to Everton from Arsenal following two successful loan spells.

England manager Phil Neville noted the player’s “rapid rise in development” this term when he selected her in his SheBelieves Cup squad in March.

Kelly started in a 1-0 win over Japan and either side of that game came off the bench in meetings with world champions USA and SheBelieves runners-up Spain.

“I went there hungry to learn and to get the opportunity to play for your country is always an honour,” said Kelly.

“I really cherished every moment.

“It was a great experience and one I’m really proud to have in my locker.

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03:48

MY JOURNEY: SIMONE MAGILL

From breaking international goal records to balancing football and studying for a PhD.


"Going into the group, I was really nervous but by the end of the camp you make great friends.

"I was sharing a room with [Chelsea midfielder] Beth England, and we have gone away probably having never spoken to each other and now we’re really good friends.

“I can speak to [England captain] Steph Houghton on a regular basis and really learn from her. Learning from those players is what I want to do to become better in myself."

Kelly added: “Everton is a great club for producing young talent and that’s what attracted me when I was a young player at Arsenal.

“They really give an opportunity to young players, so you’re going into the England squad with a lot of experience, even at a young age

“I want to become a starter for England and I’ll work my socks off until I get there.

"I’m just trying to be the best version of myself and work hard every day to become that so I’m really excited about the future and what it holds.”

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