Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp and Steph Houghton discuss contrasting years, England and the growth of women’s football | football news

Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp and Steph Houghton discuss contrasting years, England and the growth of women’s football | football news

#Manchester #Citys #Lauren #Hemp #Steph #Houghton #discuss #contrasting #years #England #growth #womens #football #football #news Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Manchester City defender and former England captain Steph Houghton admits 2022 hasn’t gone her way but hopes the new year will bring a turning point in fortunes on the pitch.

Houghton has struggled for playing time since returning from an Achilles tendon injury and was not selected for England’s successful Euro campaign.

“Yeah, it was frustrating,” Houghton told InNewCL Sports News after surprising local college students at a City in the Community event.

“It hasn’t been my best year in terms of injuries and a lot of what’s happened behind the scenes, but as a pro and as an athlete, it’s about trying to improve as much as possible.

“When you’re not playing it’s the most frustrating time. But for me it’s always been about proving my fitness, which I’ve certainly been doing since April, May.”

Houghton was called up to England’s provisional squad ahead of EURO but was cut when the team was reduced to 23 players.

Seven City players, including Houghton, participated in City's pledge to receive 76,000 hours of free football practice this year.

Image: Seven Man City players, including Houghton, took part in City’s pledge to get 76,000 hours of free football training this year

Since then, Houghton has started two WSL games for City, with Alex Greenwood, Esme Morgan and new signing Laia Aleixandri getting more playing time. However, the former Lionesses captain remains optimistic about 2023.

“I’ve had a full pre-season, I’m fit and available, I haven’t missed a session. At the end of the day I know I’m a good professional and I know I’ve been there for the girls.

“If I keep showing that attitude and the hard work I’ve put in behind the scenes, hopefully good things will come that will begin soon.”

Houghton was one of several City players to give back this Christmas by surprising local students at a coaching session at the club’s training ground.

As part of Man City’s ‘Time for Giving’ campaign, players from both men’s and women’s teams took part in the club’s pledge to provide 76,000 hours of free football in the community and to spend time with patients, nurses and doctors in local hospitals in 2023.

Kevin De Bruyne and Cole Palmer donned Christmas suits to surprise children during a coaching session at Manchester City's training ground.

Image: Kevin De Bruyne and Cole Palmer donned Christmas suits to surprise children during a training session at Manchester City’s training ground

“The club have raised over £190,000 and we want to encourage people of all ages to keep playing,” says Houghton.

“It’s important that we give something back and that Manchester club gives something back.”

Hemp: I never expected a year like this

Lauren Hemp, on the other hand, had a very different 2022.

The winger started every game in England’s triumphant Euros and was named PFA Young Player of the Year for the fourth time. City’s players head out for the winter break on Wednesday, giving Hanf time to reflect on the best year of their careers so far.

“It was amazing. Looking back on the success we’ve had at Euro and with City… if you’d asked me if I was expecting that, I would have said ‘no’.”

“It’s only a few months later when you can look back at what a tremendous achievement it was. It’s been a huge success for women’s football with record attendances since the EURO and long may it continue.”

As well as giving back to the community, Hemp is aware of the impact the rise of women’s football is having on society as a whole.

“We have a platform that helps get so many girls into football. The European Championship has inspired young boys and young girls to even don hemp tops. It’s great to see that this continues for a long time and it’s important that we also go to Euro.

Erling Haaland was among the players visiting patients, nurses and doctors at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital as part of the club's 'Time for Giving' campaign.  Campaign.

Image: Erling Haaland was one of the players who visited patients, nurses and doctors at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as part of the club’s ‘Time for Giving’ campaign

Hanf can now look forward to a long-awaited break after three years of almost uninterrupted football, a break she will enjoy with her family in Norfolk to watch her favorite Christmas movies.

But the game is never far from her, especially with the World Cup coming up in the summer.

“This is the beginning of the journey, not just the end. It’s not about winning them and it’s done, this is the start of something and hopefully something special.”

Lauren and Steph spoke to InNewCL Sports as part of City in’s ‘Time for Giving’ community campaign. For more information, visit

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