Katie Robinson: Hopefully I can bring something different to the England team
Sitting in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium watching Team GB during London 2012, shortly before her tenth birthday, Katie Robinson acknowledges the idea of becoming a senior England international seems impossible.
Growing up in Newquay, Cornwall, a young Robinson would play at Bishop’s Primary School with her friends but it wasn’t until she was around the age of ten that a family friend who ran a team asked if she wanted to join Newquay Boys.
It didn’t take long for her to attract the attention of Cornwall’s county team though and after a couple of years, she would go on to feature for Devon’s county side from 13 to 16.
The FA’s South West regional camp had been created to try to help young players from the area develop and get noticed and it was from there that Robinson and Maya Le Tissier were spotted by the England set-up.
So it seems fitting that Robinson and Le Tissier would eventually go on to receive their first England senior team call-ups at the same time, with head coach Sarina Wiegman promoting the pair from the Under-23 side for the matches with Japan and Norway.
Settling in 😊 pic.twitter.com/jssM876ABB— Lionesses (@Lionesses) November 9, 2022
Robinson said: “I got a call from a random number and when I answered it was Sarina. She just said that I'd been doing well and they wanted to give me an opportunity in camp.
“I was just at home and I couldn't quite believe it, really. It was quite a lot to take in but I was immediately excited for camp.
“I rang my Mum straight away to tell her and she was really proud. My family have been really excited for me and I guess must be really proud too. They’ve helped me get here so it is a good feeling.”
She continued: “Ever since I was young, so six, seven, eight, nine, ten year olds, and watching The Lionesses on the TV and going to the Olympics in 2012 to watch Team GB, I always had the ambition of being an England senior international. So to be here now is cool.
“In 2012 I watched one of the games at Cardiff when Team GB played against Cameroon. That helped [plant the idea of becoming an England international]. Obviously, I was only young and never really thought it would be a possibility.”
But even after excelling at Bristol City’s academy and then first team, to earn a move to Barclays Women’s Super League side Brighton & Hove Albion, the idea of being in this November camp seemed highly unlikely for Robinson as recently as a year ago.
For in the summer of 2020, just a couple of months after signing for Brighton, Robinson suffered an ACL injury which ruled her out for almost a year.
But it didn’t take the pacey attacker long to show what she is all about at Brighton and then England women’s Under-23 side.
Robinson said: “It was tough, especially with the excitement of just joining a new club, but Brighton really helped me get back.
“I definitely didn’t see a senior call-up coming so soon afterwards. I think they had just created the Under-23 set-up and I think even getting picked for that at the time was quite a surprise having come back from my knee injury, so to think a year on, being here is amazing.”
England head coach Wiegman was a big advocate of reintroducing an England WU23 side following her arrival in September 2021 and could be seen watching the Young Lionesses train during camps at St. George’s Park.
Wiegman speaks regularly to WU23 head coach Mo Marley and the coaching other staff and Robinson is just one of several youngsters to be promoted to the senior side since the summer’s EUROs triumph.
First day back 🤝 pic.twitter.com/A3l33p2Fyv— Lionesses (@Lionesses) November 8, 2022
Robinson said: “Having the Under-23s has been extremely beneficial. I think as an Under-19 age group we kind of thought there was nothing there to bridge the gap to the seniors. But having the Under-23s has really enabled that.
“I think it shows with a lot of the young players that are here on this senior camp how well the 23s does work and is successful. So I think it's really good that England put that in place and bring the youth through, which is important.
“Playing under Mo Marley was amazing. I learned a lot from Mo and it was a real privilege to play under her. I appreciate all the learning she's given me.”
Robinson was speaking on her first full day at St. George’s Park before the squad subsequently flew to Spain for their matches with Japan on Friday and Norway on Tuesday.
Wiegman highlighted Robinson’s pace, directness, ability to run in behind defences and goal threat when asked about the call-up and the 20-year-old is relishing the chance to impress.
She said: “I just want to take the opportunity and grab it with both hands and show the staff that I can bring something to the team and hopefully bring something different
“I want to try to not put too much pressure on myself and just enjoy it.”
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