England woman Lauren Hemp says we haven’t seen her best at Euro 2022 ahead of Spain quarter-finals

17 Aug 2022 | 08:54 | Football

England’s Lauren Hemp doesn’t think she’s looking her best yet at Euro 2022, revealing that Lego and digital painting can help her relax during breaks.

The 21-year-old winger has started every game of the competition and scored her first Euro goal in Brighton’s 8-0 thrashing of Norway last week.

The Lionesses return to the south coast on Wednesday, where they face Spain in the quarter-finals, and Hemp says she has not yet reached the pinnacle of her power.

“It will take time,” she told a pre-Spain news conference. “It’s my first big game in England, it’s nerve-racking in front of so many fans, I’m not going to lie. It’s also consistency and that’s what I’m working on.

“Personally, I don’t think you’ve seen the best yet, it’s going to take time, it’s going to take a while. I’m still learning and I need to remember that I’m still young. I’m taking it all at my pace.

“I’ve got a great team around me, they’ve backed me up and they’ve played really well. It’s important that we continue to do this, everyone has gained confidence from recent games and it’s important that we bring it in quarter-finals.

Lauren Hemp is one of England's brightest players heading into Euro 2022
Lauren Hemp has been named one of England’s brightest players heading into Euro 2022 and remains crucial to their success

“I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to play a big part in recent games. I’m grateful to be a part of this fantastic team.

“We also have such amazing depth that anyone can come in and change the game. You’ve seen that in recent games too… It’s important that we continue. I’m enjoying being here and loving being in so Big game, may this continue for a long time.”

The England team is based at the impressive Rensbury resort in south west London, and while there is plenty of focus and training, there is also plenty of rest time for the players to relax.

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Former England international Fern Whelan says despite England’s good form, they still have to be wary of higher-ranked teams such as Germany and the Netherlands

Hemp reveals some interesting pasts she uses to help keep herself busy.

“I like to keep myself busy, I like my legos, so I always do that in my room and paint by numbers, things like that are just to give me time because I don’t always like to sit Watching TV there, I like to play stuff.

“At the moment, I’m working on a typewriter [in Lego]. It was random, but I picked the first one I saw and sent it to Rensbury.

“I like to play table tennis and stuff like that…I don’t like to think too much about the game, as a player I like to keep it simple. As soon as the game day comes, I will focus.”

Lauren Hamp on England practice penalties

“Anything can happen in the knockout stage and if we need a penalty it’s important that we’re ready.

“We’ve been practicing to make sure we’re ready. It’s not just something that started recently, it’s something we’ve been doing throughout the tournament and before.

“We’re trying to replicate it [a game situation] As much as possible, the staff excels at this, looking for different strategies to ensure we are the most prepared team.

“All of us have been through penalty shootouts before, so we’re a very experienced team and have been involved in those pressure situations.

“We all know what that’s like and have been under pressure, so hopefully when it comes, we won’t be nervous about accepting them.”

“We respect Spain, but we are ready”

Spain will not present a huge new challenge for England. They drew 0-0 in the Arnold Clark Cup earlier this year and Hemp became the Lioness’ star.

However, the winger believes she has come a long way since the February match, and while Spain will be a tough challenge, the Lionesses are ready.

“I’ve grown tremendously [since the Arnold Clark Cup game]. A lot of it was done under the direction of Sarina and Arjen [Veurink] and back to Manchester City,” she said.

Lauren Hamp has scored her only Euro 2022 goal against Norway so far
Lauren Hamp has scored her only Euro 2022 goal against Norway so far

“I’ve learned a lot as a player over the past few months and it’s only helped me grow. You’ve got a lot to learn from that game to now – even though it was a friendly, You’re under pressure there. And there’s something we can bring in euros, so it’s nice to have it.

“I’ve been through huge crowds, for example in the FA Cup final, with huge crowds of fans coming to support and it’s fantastic. It just helps them get into a stressful environment, which helps calm the nerves and enjoy football.

“Spain will be great, I have a lot of respect for them and so is the team. They will be a great team, playing possession-based football. We are ready for that, we have done everything that is needed Preparation.

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Aston Villa striker Ruetha Littlejohn is keen to see how England deal with Spain without possession in what looks to be a tense quarter-final

“There are a lot of girls who will be at Manchester City next season, people I will also get to know, and people we have played against before. We know what they are like and we will make sure we are the best prepared team going into the game.

“We know they have a lot of threats, but we also know there’s an opportunity to exploit and we’ll definitely try to do that.

“I’ve watched a couple of their games throughout the tournament and they’re a great team, but we know that today, we can beat anyone and that’s what we’re going to make sure we do.”

Prepare for ‘nightmare’ British Heat, but without Wiegman

England manager Salina Wegman said it was important for her to start the Women's European Championship with a win over Austria.
England manager Salina Wegman remains separated from team due to Covid-19

It wasn’t the most traditional preparation for the quarter-finals of the European Championships for England. With record-breaking heat across the UK, the team is still without manager Salina Wegman, who remains isolated due to Covid-19.

“It’s too hot for me,” she said. “We got up early this morning to finish training because it was so hot and it was only going to get hotter.

“It’s important to finish these classes and try not to get too hot. It’s really a nightmare but it’s great to be in the sun because when are we getting the sun but they could have chosen a better time .

“The heat is a contributing factor. It’s not great, but it’s out of our control. It’s important that we stick to our jobs and don’t stay out in the sun for too long.

“It’s not good for the skin, you get tired easily. It’s one of those things, you have to keep going as usual. We train early just to make sure we don’t suffer too much.

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Jess Carter says England are entering a “juicy phase” of the competition as they beat Northern Ireland 5-0 to complete a 100% win record in the Euro 2022 group stage

“It’s not the same anymore [without Sarina]. Covid is still here and it’s a frustrating thing. Unfortunately, she got it, but we practiced for a long time to deal with these scenarios and what to expect. She still participates in meetings remotely, so it’s nice to have that.

“We still have an amazing team of technicians that has been supporting us. To be honest, it feels no different, she’s still there, supporting us remotely and in person, she’s still supporting us.”

Follow Euro 2022 on Sky Sports

Keep up with all the latest Euro 2022 news on Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.

Reporting will be moderated by Sky Sports WSL host Caroline Barker along with Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will be analysing throughout the game.

They will also be joined by veteran England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.

The pundits and presenters will work on the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 mobile demo bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team across the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.

Additionally, from June 21st, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be renamed the Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong lineup of programming around the tournament.

phase out…

quarter final

Wednesday 20 July

Quarterfinals 1: England v Spain – Kick-off 8pm, Brighton & Hove Community Stadium

Thursday 21 July

Quarterfinals 2: Germany v Austria – Kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Friday 22 July

Quarterfinals 3: Sweden v Belgium – Kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village

Saturday 23 July

Quarterfinals 4: France v Netherlands – Kick-off at 8pm, New York Stadium


Tuesday 26 July

Semifinals 1: Winners Quarterfinals 1 v Winners Quarterfinals 3 – Kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane

Wednesday 27 July

Semifinals 2: Winner Quarterfinals 2 v Winners Quarterfinals 4 – Kick-off 8pm, MK Stadium

at last

Sunday 31 July

Winner Semi-Final 1 v Winner Semi-Final 2 – Kick-off 5pm, Wembley

What has happened so far…

Group stage:

Wednesday, July 6

Group A: England 1-0 Austria

Thursday, July 7

Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland

Friday, July 8

Group B: Spain 4-1 Finland

Group B: Germany 4-0 Denmark

Saturday, July 9

Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland

Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden

Sunday, July 10

Group D: Belgium 1-1 Iceland

Group D: France 5-1 Italy

Monday 11 July

Group A: Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland

Group A: England 8-0 Norway

Tuesday 12 July

Group B: Denmark 1-0 Finland

Group B: Germany 2-0 Spain

Wednesday 13 July

Group C: Sweden 2-1 Switzerland

Group C: Netherlands 3-2 Portugal

Thursday 14 July

Group D: Italy 1-1 Iceland

Group D: France 2-1 Belgium

Friday 15 July

Group A: Northern Ireland 0-5 England

Group A: Austria 1-0 Norway

Saturday 16 July

Group B: Finland 0-3 Germany

Group B: Denmark 0-1 Spain

Sunday 17 July

Group C: Switzerland 1-4 Netherlands

Group C: Sweden 5-0 Portugal

Monday 18 July

Group D: Iceland 1-1 France

Group D: Italy 0-1 Belgium

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