MacIver Left 'Speechless' Following Team GB Olympics Call-Up

In May 2012, thousands gathered in the streets of Chester as a young Sandy MacIver ran bearing the Olympic torch in her hand ahead of the multi-sport summer event in London.

For the 13-year-old, this could be the closest she got to becoming an Olympian, until that dream became reality nine years later. 

MacIver will now experience her first major tournament when she travels with Great Britain across Asia for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games. 

The 22-year-old is one of four reserves included in the GB team for the tournament, which get under way in late July.

The Everton goalkeeper described her reaction to the news as "a feeling like no other".

"I was quite apprehensive to open the selection email but to have received the great news made me speechless," MacIver told evertonfc.com. 

"To also be alongside the best players across the home nations will be a really exciting and unique experience."

Following the news, MacIver began to reflect on that day back in 2012. 

"I don’t think at that age I quite understood how big an attraction the torch relay is," added the England international.

"I was more shocked that I had even been chosen.

"Looking back now I consider myself unbelievably lucky to have been in that position.

"Anybody in any sport dreams of going to an Olympics, I thought London 2012 would be the closest thing I got to being an Olympian."

MacIver returned to Everton - having come through the Club's youth system - in late December 2019 from USA side Clemson Tigers.

She was able to make only a handful of appearances due to the season drawing to a swift close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Since then, MacIver has guided Everton to a fifth-place finish in the Women's Super League - earning six clean sheets along the way - and made her England senior debut when she came off the bench for a convincing win over Northern Ireland in February. 

For the Club's Young Player of the Season, a dream that seemed out of reach last year was made possible a year later. 

"The Olympics wasn’t something I thought was a realistic goal last year but I feel lucky and grateful that I had the chance to put myself into contention.

"My focus all season was on my performances for Everton, I didn’t want to worry myself about the Olympics with something I couldn’t control.

"I didn’t have any expectations about selection, especially as I was competing against three top goalkeepers.

"The season has been a bit of a whirlwind.

"My senior debut was a special day for me and one I’m extremely proud of. To then cap the season off with Olympic selection is something I only dreamed of.

"No matter what team you’re a part of, it gives you a boost in confidence when the management team shows faith in you. It gives you added motivation to show them they made the right choice.

"I’m itching to get out there.

"Being part of Team GB is bigger than football.

"I’m excited to be part of a community of world-class athletes."

Jill Scott, who spent the second part of last season on-loan from Manchester City, has also been named in the squad travelling to Japan. 

Everton manager Willie Kirk congratulated the pair on their respective call-ups.

"I'm delighted for both players," Kirk said. 

"The experience will be invaluable and I'm sure we will get the benefits of that post-Olympics.

"Both of them have worked hard for this opportunity and it's good to see that hard work paying off."