Ella Williams, 15, is a current England Women's Under-17 international and last week met up with her team mates at St George's Park for a training camp. Her first steps into football occurred in the Surrey County Women and Girls League, a journey which took her from the playground all the way to captaining her country against Holland. Below is her blog from her five days at SGP...
I arrived at St George's Park feeling nervous but excited and ready for the days that lay ahead. My teammates and I (along with our parents) attended a meeting delivered by staff from The FA, then I said goodbye to my Mum and headed up to my hotel room to get ready for our first session.
We all had a quick lunch and then headed out for training, which focused on defending - it felt great to get out on the pitch. After this, it was time for recovery, which involved a freezing ice bath and stretching. A squad meeting followed that night - with an impromptu team bonding session in the car park after a fire alarm went off! Everyone then headed off for an early night to be energised for the next day.
The day began with various tests, with my temperature, height and weight being measured and monitored. I headed down for breakfast then back out onto the pitch for a session which covered retaining possession in tight areas. We then moved on to attacking, with the afternoon session covering playing the ball out from the back. We did the usual recovery methods, however tonight also visited the swimming pool to help us recuperate.
Match Day! Wales were our opponents today. We had breakfast then went for a 'Walk and Stretch' to prepare for the game. The squad met for a pre-match briefing to go over our objectives for the game, which we ended up winning 1-0, but we will play them again on Friday and will hope for another good result.
We had a relaxing morning following the game the day before, and most of us completed any schoolwork we had been set over half-term. A training session in the freezing cold followed with work done to prepare for our second meeting with Wales.
The day of our second match against Wales. The usual routine of breakfast, stretching and a team meeting was followed by the game itself. It was a close match, however we scored a stunning goal in in the last minute to take the win. After the match, we had 1-2-1s with the coaches to talk about the week and our development. Then it was time to head back to Surrey.
To read about Ella's development through the Female Player Pathway, click here. And for more in Women and Girls Football, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.