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Published 16 July 2023 5 min read
England Women's Senior Team

A Land Down Under, with Lucy Bronze

Written by:

Lucy Bronze

Lucy Bronze reflects on her first trip Down Under with England back in 2008, karaoke with Kylie Minogue and a number of other Australian influences

A lot of people might not realise but this is not my first time Down Under representing England!

Funnily enough, my first World Cup for my country was actually the first-ever Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand back in 2008.

It is the same for Rachel Daly, Jordan Nobbs and Lucy Staniforth, and to this day, it's some of my fondest memories of playing for England. 

The places we went to, the stadiums, the culture, the people... I actually think I probably remember more from that trip than I do from recent trips with the seniors because the experience was so different.

Lucy Bronze represented England WU17s at the Under-17 World Cup in 2008, where among the opponents was a young Alexandra Popp.
Lucy Bronze represented England WU17s at the Under-17 World Cup in 2008, where among the opponents was a young Alexandra Popp.

On that trip, we stopped off in Australia for a day. It's weird because I can still remember walking around in Australia, and I was only 16 or 17 at the time, yet some of my memories from recent senior World Cups in Canada and France are more blurry. 

So it's quite nice to have that kind of link, where right at the very beginning of my career I had that experience on the other side of the world and to now have the chance to go back there with the senior team. It brings back all those fond memories of being a 16 or 17-year-old and now I'm going back there as a 31-year-old.

It was just a day trip out to Australia and we generally just walked around Melbourne, so we went to a few shops and just looked around. It was October time so the weather was nice and the Australian people were super friendly and super nice. I don’t know if it was because they heard our English accents from afar but it was a really enjoyable experience and I don’t have any negative memories from my time there.

Like most people of my age, I grew up watching Australian soaps like ‘Home and Away’ and ‘Neighbours’, and of course listening to Kylie Minogue; my mum used to play her songs all the time.

Lucy Bronze would often listen to Kylie Minogue as a child
Lucy Bronze would often listen to Kylie Minogue as a child

I really like Kylie to be fair, plus the songs with Jason Donovan and the old classics. I remember I had a karaoke machine when I was younger and my mum bought me loads of cassettes for it. My favourite song on the cassettes was actually Especially for You by Kyle and Jason Donovan!

Dan Carter of the All Blacks rugby team was someone who would get talked about a lot growing up because we had our own Dan Carter on our team so there would be jokes about that.

In terms of Australian footballers, Tim Cahill was a big player in England growing up, I remember him doing his boxing celebration in the corner flag, and on the women's side,  I played with Alanna Kennedy and Hayley Raso obviously and I’ve played against Sam Kerr a lot now.

I used to watch "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" quite a lot when I was younger. Not so much recently, but I watched it when Jill Scott was on it. 

14 Jul 2023 10:58

Inside Training | World Cup 2023

England players go through their paces out in Australia, including Lucy Bronze and Lauren James showing their skills

We have a group chat from the EUROs still and once we got wind of her being on it, it started going mad and every single one of us knew she was going to win it.

In the jungle, you're in an enclosed environment with people for one reason for a certain amount of time so it's like being away on camp with England, in one sense. And Jill was always the one who got everyone in a good mood and positive, so it was like the perfect environment for her to thrive. It’s like "I'm a Celebrity” was made for her!

What am I most looking forward to in Australia for this World Cup? Outside of football, just the culture and the animals...those are the kind of things which really interest me.

It’s crazy because Australia is an English-speaking country, but it's so different to England in so many ways. 

It being an English-speaking country makes it so much easier for us to explore and find things out so that is exciting, especially for our families and friends who are going to be heading over.

It is not the kind of place you would usually go to as it is so far away, but we would always want to go so having the World Cup as a reason to go and then having the chance to explore some of the country as well, it is not a bad excuse to visit and finally tick it off the bucket list!

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