‘I was making breakfast’ – new Lioness Moorhouse on missing Wiegman’s call

<span>Anna Moorhouse of <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:England;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">England</a> trains at St George’s Park after her call-up.</span><span>Photograph: Naomi Baker/The FA/Getty Images</span>

The Orlando Pride goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse says she was brought to tears when she received her first England call-up at the age of 29, having always remained hopeful that she might one day make the squad.

The Oldham-born Moorhouse arrived in the Lionesses’ camp on Monday and trained with the squad for the first time on Tuesday for their Euro 2025 qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden.

Her long-awaited first call-up comes after she achieved a league-leading seven clean sheets in 15 games in America’s top women’s division, the National Women’s Soccer League, this season. It comes after another impressive campaign last term after signing for her Florida-based club from Bordeaux in 2022.

Despite her form, the call from the England head coach, Sarina Wiegman, came as a bit of a surprise to Moorhouse, who said: “I was just making breakfast and I wasn’t looking at my phone, I actually missed the call from Sarina, so that was not a good start, but I called her back straight away. My partner videoed it because I was like: ‘Oh my God, this is Sarina!’ There were some tears, but it was just a great feeling.

“It’s not that I didn’t think it would happen – I was always hopeful, but I’m 29 now. I was just like: ‘I’m playing well, maybe it’s going to happen,’ but I wasn’t expecting anything.”

The climb to the international stage has been a long time coming for a goalkeeper who started out playing local football in the Greater Manchester area as a youngster. After a spell in Manchester United’s youth setup 13 years ago, Moorhouse played for clubs including Everton, Arsenal and West Ham United in the Women’s Super League before heading to France, and she believes going abroad has been key to her improvements.

She said: “It’s just helped me come out of my shell a little bit. I’m honestly quite a shy person, so I think going to France and then America has helped me adjust and get out of my comfort zone a lot. Definitely in Orlando, every single person in the team, we all match our weirdness, for want of a better word. We all have a really good time and let people be themselves, so it’s been really good.”

Moorhouse is training alongside the England goalkeepers Mary Earps, Hannah Hampton and Khiara Keating. Asked how much Earps, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, had done to raise the profile of women’s goalkeepers, Moorhouse added: “She’s been outstanding for the women’s game and women’s goalkeepers.

“Back when I was growing up and coming through youth systems, you didn’t have a goalkeeper coach, so you’re trying to play this position without any real coaching. Now, the girls that are coming through are having that specialised coaching, so the standard of goalkeepers coming through is really good.”