- Georgia Stanway is a rising star with England & Manchester City
- The exciting forward is bound for this year’s U-20 Women's World Cup
- Stanway tells FIFA.com of her desire to emulate England’s title-winning boys
The last time Georgia Stanway headed to a World Cup, she did so as an unknown, with her team rank outsiders. Less than two years on, she is returning to the global stage with a very different outlook and profile.
Such has been Stanway’s progress since the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup that she will be one of the star names at the upcoming U-20 finals. This prominence has been earned by her fine form and spectacular goals for English giants Manchester City, with whom she has shone both domestically and in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
And if there will be more expected of Stanway at this World Cup, the same could be said of her team. England have previously enjoyed only modest success at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and failed to even qualify for the tournament in 2016. But the ever-improving performances of their women’s sides, and the back-to-back World Cup conquests of the nation’s U-20 and U-17 men last year, have led to a raising of sights.
“We were definitely inspired by what the boys did,” Stanway told FIFA.com. “We feel we need to win something, and that’s the plan in France. That’s easier said than done of course. But we’re going to be going there to train hard and play hard, and hopefully we can come up trumps. The boys raised the bar last year and we need to go out and try to match them.”
Besides her clarity on that lofty target, Stanway also outlined England’s blueprint for achieving it. “We’ll be aiming to be the fittest team there and the team that works the hardest,” she explained. “We probably won’t be the most technical side at the tournament but if we’re at our fittest and work as hard as we possibly can, other teams will find it tough to stop us.”
Stanway herself has proved all but unstoppable this season, the highlights of which have included a run to the Champions League semi-finals, a Young Player of the Year nomination and a call-up to the senior England squad. Such experiences have also left the 19-year-old well prepared for another World Cup adventure.
“It’s crazy what can happen in two years and I’ve gained so much experience since the U-17s in Jordan,” said Stanway. “I’m just excited about France now because you can’t compare a World Cup to anything else – it’s an experience like no other.
“I’m definitely happy with the progress I’ve made this season. I always had my sights on establishing myself in the City team and getting into the England squad if I could, but it’s one of those situations where you still don’t believe it when it actually happens. The call-up for the SheBelieves Cup was a massive thing for me and my family and such a big boost, especially with the new manager (Phil Neville) coming in at that time. I loved every minute of it too.”
The same could be said of that debut World Cup in Jordan, when Stanway emerged as one of England’s most impressive players, scoring three times in their run to the quarter-finals.
“I didn’t want it to be over,” she reflected, two years on. “We were out there for about two months but when we got back home, the players all said we would have all gone back out there if we could. It was such a great experience and I came away so determined to make it to another World Cup. Now we’ve made it to one, I just can’t wait.”