عالمية عالمية

Why signing for Everton was ‘definitely’ the right decision for Jill Scott


One year on from her 149th England cap, Jill Scott is about to win her 150th – taking her past a milestone previously achieved by only the legendary Fara Williams.

The 34-year-old Everton midfielder – on loan from Manchester City – is set to line up for the Lionesses on Tuesday against Northern Ireland, and hopes that she will be able to add more international appearances to her tally in future as well.

“I think that shows that you never know what’s going to happen in football, and I think I don’t like to set goals too far ahead,” she told a media conference ahead of the international camp. “I feel like the age of 34 has just creeped up to us, and suddenly I am now one of the oldest players in the squad.

“Even mentioning Fara Williams and putting my name next to hers, that is such a massive honour for me to join her hopefully in that 150 Club.

“I haven’t put a limit on when I’m going to finish playing yet. I still feel good. I can still run, so until the time comes that I can’t – or someone tells us I can’t – then that will probably be when a decision will be made.”

Scott’s loan move to the Blues in January came as a bit of a shock to many as she returned to the club where she really made her name, and she says she is grateful to be given the chance to play herself back into form.

“It’s probably something that I’ve never really spoken about in the past, but my priority has always been playing for England,” she revealed. “When I’ve reflected on my journey, there’s been a couple of opportunities where I had the chance to go abroad to play. But there was maybe a change in England manager and I really wanted to stay in England and stake my claim, because playing for England is the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

“Maybe before Christmas things were not going too well for me, I probably didn’t feel like myself. Manchester City were fantastic and said they would always support us in whatever I wanted to do…So yeah, I think Everton has been so good for us.

“I am enjoying this so much and playing in the games, being competitive. So yeah, it was definitely the right decision. Hopefully, it’s something that keeps us in the England team moving forward.”

The veteran has been extending her coaching CV in recent months with a view to the path she might pursue when she hangs up her boots, adding wryly that she regrets not completing a university degree while studying at Loughborough.

“I was rooming with [Chelsea and England goalkeeper] Carly Telford and we used to stop each other from going to lessons at times!” she joked.

And as she looks back over her career on this landmark occasion, she says she has plenty of highlights to enjoy – naming England’s quarter-final win over France in the 2017 Euros as one of her favourite matches.

“We’d been on the end of so many draws [against France], and so many defeats, and that was definitely, definitely one of the best moments,” she said, “and then also that bronze medal match against Germany [at the 2015 Women’s World Cup]. I think we absolutely left everything on that pitch.

“When I look at that bronze medal now, and the amount of sweat and tears and hard work and the memories that are held within that medal…

“Yes, of course I wish it was a gold medal, and but in certain lights it does look gold!”

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