Barking Abbey pupil preparing herself for England training in Portugal
PUBLISHED: 14:45 05 February 2015
Youngster will earn international cap for her country over next couple of months
Olivia Smith will represent her country in the coming months and is excited about the opportunity.
After three trial matches, the Barking Abbey pupil found out recently that she had been selected for the English Schools’ under-15 football team and will soon be flying to Portugal for a half-term training camp.
The former Manor Junior pupil jets off on February 16 and will get to tour Benfica’s Stadium of Light, before returning three days later and is looking forward to the experience.
“I wouldn’t say I am nervous about it. You get nerves when you turn up, but I am more excited right now,” said Smith, who plays for Chelsea girls.
“When I get there I am sure I will be nervous because I do (get nervous) about everything.”
Smith, a former Barking & Dagenham district player, experienced some highs and lows during the three trial matches, but she had a funny feeling she would make it through.
She added: “In the first trial my mate was knocked out and I didn’t know why. I got through, though, and the second trial was South West versus South East and that was hard.
“I got through again and the final trial was the best of the best. My team, South of England, won 1-0 and it was a good match.
“We played three lots of 30 minutes and I only got 45. Some other girls got 60 and 75, so I was wondering why.
“I guess I’ll never know, but it doesn’t matter. I got picked and to be honest I had a good feeling I was going to get picked anyway.”
Arsenal and England star Rachel Yankey will fly out with the squad to Portugal for the training camp and Smith has been told she will earn at least one cap, possibly making her England debut in Dublin on March 21 during a friendly fixture against Republic of Ireland.
Smith looks up to Yankey, but there is another person she classes as an idol.
She said: “Rachel Yankey has had a phenomenal career, but I think I would say that Gilly Flaherty is my hero.
“She coached me at Millwall last season and plays centre-back for Chelsea, which is my position. She plays in the Chelsea first team and I respect her massively.”
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