Chloe Kelly says going to this summer’s Euros with England was a target she had in her head from the moment she was sidelined by an ACL injury just over a year ago.
The Manchester City winger sustained the knee damage in a Women’s Super League match against Birmingham in May 2021 and subsequently did not play again until April this year.
During that time, England began life under boss Sarina Wiegman, who brought the fit-again Kelly back into the fold last month by including her in her provisional 28-player squad for the forthcoming home Euros.
That group is set to be cut down to a final 23 next week, and Kelly said: “Of course I want to be there and that is what I am working towards.
“From when I got injured, I said I want to be at the Euros and I worked each day to do that. I’m just working hard here (at St George’s Park) each day, and showing what I’m capable of.
“It’s the first time working with Sarina, I know everyone else has worked with her before, but I just need to impress this camp, show what I’m capable of and let my football do the talking.”
Asked if there had been moments during her recovery when she had not thought it would be possible to get to her current situation, the 24-year-old said: “I think it just shows the effort I did put into my rehab and the people around me put into it.
“I think I always believed to be honest, because I knew how much effort I was putting into it day in, day out.”
Kelly made seven appearances in all competitions for City towards the end of the 2021-22 season, scoring twice.
And she said: “I think I’m in good form. Coming back from an ACL injury, sometimes it’s very difficult to pick up the form where you left off.
“I didn’t want the season to end because I felt so fresh. To be back on the grass so quickly, it’s brilliant.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) May 31, 2022
“It feels like I’ve never been away. I’ve enjoyed every moment of being back on the grass with the team, and learning from Sarina. It’s great – and I’m excited for more.”
Kelly, who made her England debut in 2018, has seven caps to date – a player in the squad with the same number is Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy, with all hers coming since the start of 2021.
Asked about the feeling in the camp with the cut to come from 28 players to 23, Wubben-Moy said: “It was pretty cool – in our introductory meeting (on Monday) Sarina mentioned yourself being your only competitor, judging against yourself, because you can’t control what another player does, you can only control what you do, what you bring on the pitch.
“So I thought that was quite a good analogy for how all of our mindsets should be going into it.
“The competition is very high as well, which is great, but I think the highest competition is yourself. You can only look to improve every single day.”