Bethany England scored an injury-time winner for Chelsea to secure the first major silverware of her career and is now on international duty at the SheBelieves Trophy.
The 25-year-old from Kingstone got both goals including a last-gasp strike to defeat Arsenal 2-1 in the League Cup final at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on Saturday before travelling to the USA with the England squad. She is the joint top-scorer in the WSL this season with 14 goals for Chelsea who are second in the table.
Bethany said: “It was unbelievable. I thought we were lucky to win because Arsenal were on top for long spells. I didn’t feel like I had the energy for extra-time so I was so happy to score. You dream of scoring and winning in big cup finals. It is probably the easiest goal I will ever score but one of the most important. I had some friends and family there as well as some players from some junior teams in Barnsley.”
The next day, Bethany flew to Florida for the SheBelieves Cup. She came off the bench for the final 12 minutes of today's 2-0 loss to the hosts in Orlando. England now take on Japan in New Jersey on Sunday and Spain in Frisco on Wednesday. Phil Neville’s side are the holders of the annual competition which sees the four teams play each other once, and the group-winner lift the trophy. Bethany made her international debut last year. She has five caps, scoring in friendlies against Brazil and Czech Republic.
She said: “It’s a lot of pressure because we are the champions. It’s great to be at my first international tournament and it’s my first time in America as well. “It will be a lot of travelling with a four-hour then a six-hour flight between the games. But it should be a great experience. I am getting used to the standards of international football and it will be very good to test myself against some of the best teams in the world.”
England is hoping to represent Great Britain in the Olympics in Tokyo later this year. She said: “First and foremost the aim is to win the treble with Chelsea because we have one trophy and we are in with a good chance in the league and FA Cup. Then hopefully I will get selected for the Olympics. I did a lot of athletics when I was younger and always watched the Olympics. I never expected to get there as a footballer but, if I do, it will be a great moment for me and my family. I would love to represent Great Britain at that level. There’s a bit of doubt about the Olympics because of the coronavirus but hopefully it goes ahead as planned.”
Chris Hamilton, manager of Barnsley Women’s FC, says England is an inspiration to his players. He said: “Some of our players played with her in youth teams. The younger ones have seen her play on TV in the Super League and for England. It’s an inspiration for all of our players to see someone from this area reach such a good level. She’s a role model.”