Laura Coombs admits her England call-up was a surprise

Laura Coombs admitted her England call-up came completely out of the blue.

The 32-year-old Manchester City midfielder won the second of her two caps in 2015 under former head coach Mark Sampson.

But Coombs has been plucked from the international wilderness by boss Sarina Wiegman for the Arnold Clark Cup as the Lionesses tune up for this summer’s World Cup.

“It’s really good. Obviously I know a lot of the girls so it doesn’t feel super out of my comfort zone,” she said at a press conference. “It’s really good to be back training and in a new environment.

“I was surprised because it’s been so long and I didn’t really think about the international stage anymore – I was thinking I was going to get a break over the international break.

“But I’m really happy to be here. It was a shock but now I’m here, I’m ready to get down to work.

“It’s not that I’d given up. In my earlier years it was all I wanted. But when you don’t get selected at some point you have to say ‘I need to just park that’ and focus on club (football) because otherwise you’re disappointed a lot and it starts to affect you negatively.

“It’s amazing and an honour to be here but it’s not what I was working towards.”

European champions England, who won the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup a year ago, open this campaign and their fixtures for 2023 by playing South Korea in Milton Keynes on Thursday.

Laura Coombs file photo
Coombs has impressed for Manchester City this season (Tim Goode/PA)

Despite her relative inexperience on the international stage, Coombs admits she feels like a senior player.

“It’s weird that I’m the oldest player here – I’ve never been that player in a team before,” she added.

“Luckily I don’t feel old. It feels really fresh, everyone is really positive and the talent level is so high.

“I just feel coming into this now I’m more of a senior player and I do feel more comfortable than maybe I have in the past.”

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