Simkin enjoying first team challenge

Defender Lily Simkin is determined to build on her first team appearances as she continues her development from the Academy. 

The 16-year-old has made six first team appearances this season, producing impressive performances in the absence of key players in the squad. 

Lily picked up Her Football Hub's 'Rising Star' Award in recognition of her performances in December.

The Academy provided crucial support to the First Team during the festive period and Simkin believes she has risen to the challenge of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

She said: “It’s been really helpful for development of me as a player, it was a big jump to start with.

“As I’ve played more minutes, I feel like I’ve adapted well to it, getting the experience is only going to grow me as a player and prepare me for the future.”

Since appearing for the first team, Simkin has been called up to an England camp and credits her First Team appearances as a key reason for her call-up. 

She said: “I really enjoyed the camp, it was really useful for my development; it was another great experience to add to the First Team appearances from this season.

“Playing against the experienced players in the Barclays FA WSL is only going to help me moving forward and hopefully make me more eligible for selection in the future.”

As the side head into the second half of the season, Simkin is hopeful of gaining more First Team minutes to help her development. 

“I’m just hoping to gain more confidence and find my voice during games,” said Simkin. “I want to help the team to progress further up the table.”

Blues take on Sheffield United on Sunday 26 January in the fourth round of the Women's FA Cup (1pm kick-off).