Valerie Gauvin has described performing in an FA Cup final as “the type of occasion you work hard for all your career” as anticipation builds ahead of Everton’s meeting with Manchester City in Sunday’s Wembley showpiece.
Gauvin heads into the game high on confidence after making an instant impact since joining the Blues from French side Montpellier during the summer transfer window, and having recently broken Everton teammate Simone Magill's world record for the fastest international goal in women's football history.
Gauvin netted after just 10 seconds of France's 11-0 win over North Macedonia on Friday.
Nouveau record du but le plus rapide chez les Bleues ✅— Equipe de France ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance) October 24, 2020
Quadruplé d'Eugénie Le Sommer ✅
➡ C'est parti pour les 11 buts des Bleues face à la Macédoine du Nord (11-0) #FiersdetreBleues pic.twitter.com/MklGr3iB6U
The 24-year-old striker has hit five goals in just eight appearances for Everton.
She headed the winner in the Club’s 2-1 cup quarter-final triumph over WSL champions Chelsea and was also on target in the Toffees’ 3-0 semi-final success against Birmingham City.
Gauvin was a key part of the France team that reached the quarter-finals of their home World Cup in 2019 – and believes the experience of playing in high-stakes matches will serve her well heading into Sunday’s Wembley contest.
“Playing in big events like the World Cup will help and make sure you go into the game with a lot less stress,” she told evertonfc.com.
“It is going to be an absolutely amazing occasion for us to have this chance to play at Wembley.
“After all you try to achieve as a youngster in football growing up, you work hard for days and occasions like this.
“The form we go to the final with will give us lots of confidence, too.
“We want to give everything we can to perform well and win the trophy. I hope we can do that and make the Club and our fans proud.”
Gauvin's thumping header 10 seconds into France's victory over North Macedonia saw her break a world record set by Magill in 2016. Magill struck on 11 seconds for Northern Ireland in a European Championship qualifier in Georgia.
Gauvin and Magill have shared centre-forward duties for much of Everton’s campaign so far, and the France attacker outlined the wealth of qualities her teammate offers on and off the field.
“Simone is great, she is a really nice character,” she said
“We get on well, she is a lovely person.
“On the field, she is very tough physically but she is a different profile to me, in the sense she likes the ball more into feet – whereas I like it in the air.
“She is an excellent player, and I am very happy to have her as a teammate.”
Gauvin says her speedy transition to life at Everton has been aided by the presence of France colleague Maeva Clemaron within the Blues’ ranks.
However, the striker - who is taking regular English lessons - was eager to underline how the welcoming nature of the entire Everton squad and coaching team has helped her quickly feel at home on Merseyside.
“I’ve been fortunate because, as well as having Maeva, Izzy Christiansen also speaks French having played there [for Lyon], so she helps me as well,” she said.
“And what I have got to say is that the other girls have been really positive and patient.
"They’ve taken their time to try to help me with translations and explaining things if I haven’t understood what the manager is saying.
“That’s been really instrumental in this settling in process and, because it’s going so well, I’ve got to thank everyone for the time they’ve taken to help me.”
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