Esme Morgan: England Women defender reveals she ‘almost missed’ World Cup call-up

England Women defender Esme Morgan speaks exclusively to Sky Sports about her anxious wait for her place in the World Cup squad, feeling “disheartened” after Australia defeat and being in the stands for Manchester City’s Champions League win

By Anton Toloui, Sky Sports News reporter

Esme Morgan admits she missed her England World Cup call-up as she was preparing for her summer holiday.

The Manchester City defender was anxiously waiting for head coach Sarina Wiegman’s call when an everyday event got in the way of her finding out if she was successful.

“Well I actually missed the first call,” Morgan tells Sky Sports.

“I was just about to go on holiday and had a last-minute Zara delivery coming. So I went to the door to collect it, came back, checked my phone and had a missed call from Sarina and Arjen [Veurink – England Women assistant coach].

“I was like, ‘Noooooo!’ but minutes later they called again, thank goodness, and I was like, ‘Sorry I missed you, I was getting my delivery!'”

Morgan received good news from Wiegman and Veurink and she’s now back at St George’s Park for week two of England’s pre-World Cup camp.

The 22-year old started England’s last game back in April but it was a night to forget for the Lionesses as their 30-game unbeaten run was ended by a Sam Kerr-inspired Australia.

“I was so disappointed with how I played in that Australia game,” says Morgan. “When you get opportunities like that you just want to do your absolute best.

“Although I tried my best my output wasn’t anywhere close to where I wanted it to be. So I was disheartened after that and it did knock my confidence quite a bit but I built it back up at my club.

Esme Morgan made her debut for England against Czech Republic last October

“But there was definitely a doubt about whether they’d keep their trust in me after a poor performance.”

Morgan, with her parents and friends, went out to celebrate after the call-up by seeing one of her favourite bands.

“Coldplay!” she reveals. “I thought it was either going to go one of two ways… crying to ‘Fix You’ or bouncing up and down to ‘Viva la Vida’.

“I was bouncing up and down to ‘Viva la Vida’ and I really was bouncing up and down it’s fair to say.

“I was a bit anxious beforehand because you see stuff on social media of people’s predicted squads. You’re in some of them, not in others and I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, I hope Sarina thinks like the ones that have me in’.

“I’ve got a good relationship with her and thought I played quite well towards the end of the season so I just had to hope it was enough.”

As well as summer sun and evening gigs, Morgan’s brief break before camp also involved a trip to Istanbul for the Champions League final.

The life-long City fan sat in the stands with team-mate Steph Houghton and club legends Shaun Wright-Phillips and Nedum Onuoha to watch their biggest victory to date.

“We went bonkers,” she says. “It took my voice a good four or five days to recover, I was croaky for quite a while but it was amazing.

“When I saw them actually lift the trophy I had tears in my eyes. I’ve been supporting City my whole life and it’s been the club’s biggest goal for many years.

“I saw the emotion of the players and that’s what set me off. As a player, when you achieve something like that and you’ve put so much work into it, the culmination of lifting that trophy must put so much emotion through you.”

After missing last year’s Euros with a broken leg, Morgan is hoping she gets the chance to experience the emotion of lifting the biggest trophy of them all this summer in Australia with England.

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