Phil’s [Neville] told me I’ve made an impact so I just need to keep doing that and hopefully I will be rewarded with some minutes.Lucy Staniforth
Lucy’s call up was revealed on Twitter by England and Newcastle legend, Alan Shearer and the Sunderland native couldn’t hide her delight when we spoke with her.
She said: “I didn’t expect it, I’m in shock and it doesn’t feel real. I think maybe I was protecting myself thinking, ‘oh well you won’t go’ because if I was going to go it would have been a massive surprise.
“I’m buzzing. It is going to be unbelievable.
“I probably won’t understand to the fullest extent what it feels like until I am there. I am just going to go and make the most of every opportunity and enjoy it as much as I can.”
It will be the 26-year-old's first ever Women’s World Cup, having broken into the squad under new manager Phil Neville who has been delighted with her performances this season.
“Phil’s [Neville] told me I’ve made an impact so I just need to keep doing that and hopefully I will be rewarded with some minutes,” she said.
“I can’t thank him enough for the opportunities he has given me so far and I just hope to repay him.
“I think as a manager going into a big tournament it is helpful if you have players who can potentially fill in and play in different positions. I’m happy to play wherever the manager asks of me.”
She was awarded her first senior call up by Neville in June 2018, but it hasn’t been an easy journey into the Lionesses squad for Staniforth, who has battled back from two cruciate ligament injuries over her career.
She said: “I grew up with a lot of players who went straight into the England senior team but my story was a little bit different. I had injuries and setbacks and my journey was far from straight forward.
“In that sense, I hope it gives inspiration to those girls who are facing challenges and going through tricky times with injuries, hopefully I can provide some inspiration.
“I won’t take this opportunity for granted. When we were on camp in Qatar, some of the senior players spoke about their experiences and what made tournaments special.
“It is not going to be easy so you have to keep that in mind and be ready. I want to help the team, be a supportive teammate and enjoy the ride.
“The girls are amazing and the team is the closest it has been since I have been involved. Everyone supports each other and even when the team changes, the players on the bench are so happy for the girls starting. I think you need that especially in tournament football.
“There will be tough times and you need to be able to count on people. Even if they are just there to make you smile in the morning!”
Lucy, Ellen and the Lionesses kick off their World Cup campaign on Sunday 9 June against Scotland.
Tickets for the match are available here.