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Published 14 July 2022 4 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Chloe Kelly on her new outlook and supporting England's attack

Written by:

Ollie Spencer

The Lionesses forward opens up on how injury has changed her approach to the game as she waits for a chance to impress at UEFA EURO 2022


Chloe Kelly is relishing her fresh, new, no-fear mindset and embracing her value to the squad at this summer’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.

The Manchester City forward is still waiting for her first start of the competition, but after suffering and subsequently recovering from a life-changing injury just over a year ago, Kelly has re-adjusted her outlook and approach. 

Looking back to the start of her career and following the regular game-time that came with her permanent transfer from Arsenal to Everton in January 2018, Kelly became one of the Barclays WSL's most exciting young talents, 

She was duly signed by Manchester City in the summer of 2020 but her rapid development and upwards trajectory was bought to an abrupt halt in May 2021, when she suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that would see her miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season and most of this campaign too.

And London-born Kelly, now fully recovered and back to fitness, opened up about how the injury has changed her attitude for the better after working her way into Sarina Wiegman's squad.

“I’ve got a completely different look on things and a different mentality," she explained.
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"When something like that happens to you and you’re away from the game for so long, I think nothing really fazes you after.

“Before, I’d get quite nervous before games and when I speak to my family and they ask if I’m nervous, I don’t really have those nerves as I did before because I’m thinking: ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’

“You probably don’t notice it until you have that spell away and you learn so much about yourself and whereas before maybe I’d get a little bit too worked up in the moment, now I’m just enjoying myself and living in the moment.”

There's perhaps no better example of England’s remarkable strength in-depth at EURO 2022, with Kelly seeing her integral role in Manchester City’s successful 2021-22 WSL campaign rewarded with a place in the PFA Team of the Year and yet she's still waiting on her first start at this tournament.

But with the Lionesses having already secured their quarter-final place with two wins from their first two games, a spot in the starting lineup may well come against Northern Ireland on Friday evening.

England's Chloe Kelly, pictured during training with the squad ahead of their trip to Southampton
England's Chloe Kelly, pictured during training with the squad ahead of their trip to Southampton
The explosive winger isn’t deterred by her lack of minutes in the opening two games of the tournament though, with Wiegman opting to use Lauren Hemp and Beth Mead in the games with Austria and Norway.

Instead, Kelly views the quality ahead of her as healthy competition and, given the shimmering performance of hat-trick hero Mead against Norway, knows she must remain selflessly patient and supportive.

“[Mead] had a great season and she’s on absolute fire, it’s brilliant for her and she’s a brilliant girl," added Kelly.

"We’re just getting behind her and how can we help her bring the best out of Beth and keep getting the best out of Beth. She’s in a great moment.

“Just give her the ball because she’s doing so well. I think we all just need to appreciate that and look after her, make sure she recovers right. Give the ball to Beth and something will happen!

“It’s brilliant and it’s very competitive. I think that’s when everyone is at their best, when it’s competitive and you bring the best out of each other.

"It’s so good to play with such great forwards and learn from them, to see how we can help each other win games.”

And Kelly will be hoping to put that into practice should she get her own opportunity to shine on the big stage.

Ollie Spencer is a Football Journalism student at the University of Derby covering the UEFA Women's EURO 2022.