USA

“I was in the dark”: Bardsley aims to grab the spot in England after hell of injury | England Women’s Soccer Team

TWhen Karen Bardsley first met Hege Riise, she blanked England’s interim manager. “We have to wear a mask, so we passed her almost straight on the first day,” laughs the recalled goalkeeper.

Bardsley flew from Seattle. Still enrolled in 36-year-old Manchester City, he has taken out a loan at OL Reign and rediscovered a form that won 81 caps before a serious injury could end her career.

Bardsley tells her when she sits in a small windowless room in St. George’s Park and communicates through Zoom while Liese’s team prepares for a friendly match against France on Friday in Caen. I remember the slow realization that the world was upside down.

She first felt something “couldn’t work” in the hamstring just before England’s 3-0 halftime. World Cup quarterfinal victory over Norway It was held at Stade Oceane in Le Havre in 2019 and was able to continue to full time.

Experts discovered that her hamstring had been torn from the bone and required a complex operation known as the ischial tuberosity to reattach it to the base of the pelvis.In Bardsley’s words, there was “a hole was made” and previously “a lot of sewing” Bystander 15 months..

Karen Bardsley enjoys winning England’s World Cup quarterfinals against Norway in 2019 with Steph Houghton, but soon discovers that she has suffered a serious hamstring injury. Photo: Craig Mercer / MB Media / Getty Images

In the process, goalkeepers who were part of Team GB’s run to the London 2012 quarterfinals and helped Lioness reach the 2015 World Cup semifinals in Canada, Euro 2017 in the Netherlands and France 2019 , The starting point for England, but I saw Erie Roebuck replace her in the city.

“You really, really, don’t want to know where my head was,” says Bardsley. “I was in a very dark place. It was a place of frustration and a lot of self-questioning. Was I still enough? Can I still enjoy football? What and how do I need to change? Did you? I love City, but I was a professional athlete and wanted to play. “

The move to Washington provided her with a starting slot as well as a new life lease to play with Megan Rapinoe on the Pacific coast. “Reign has opened his arms and welcomed me and I’m really enjoying it. I rediscovered my fun and confidence and realized that I really love football. It tells me It reignited-and NWSL is a summer league, ideal for moving to a major tournament like the Olympics. “

Bardsley remains “very close” to Roebuck, but she aims to replace her as Riise’s first choice in Japan. “That’s the plan,” the player born in Santa Monica tells the parents of the English expatriate. “I’m going to undermine myself in terms of how terrible it is. I know my strengths and I’m sure they’re unique.”

Such directness is rare among British players, but Bardsley grew up in a more candid Californian culture – and has an accent to prove it. “I really have nothing to lose,” she says. “If I’m really honest, I didn’t expect a phone call, but I’m here, and I’m going to throw everything into it. I want to play; I just touchline I’m not here to sit down on the day Defeated France in the Euro 2017 quarterfinals It was incredible. I’m really looking forward to meeting them again. “

Karen Bardsley will make a save during his Manchester City training last September. She has been participating in OL Reign on loan since then.
Karen Bardsley will make a save during his Manchester City training last September. She has been participating in OL Reign on loan since then. Photo: Tom Frazzers / Manchester City FC / Getty Images

The Olympics have long inspired her imagination. “I remember I was 16 years old. I had lunch in high school and talked to my friends,” Bardsley recalls. “We were talking about tattoos, and I said the only way to get a tattoo so far is if I went to the Olympics. I have a reminder on my wrist! What happened to me once Was a dream. What happens again is: “Wow.”

“One of the most amazing things about 2012 was that it was on par with men. How we traveled and where we stayed – we ate together. It’s for women’s football. It was a true step-up point. This was the first time I felt that everything was equal, and equality was what everyone in women’s sports was aiming for, and it was an incredible platform.

“And you have a really surreal moment in the Olympic village. Suddenly you see Lionel Messi playing volleyball and Serena Williams sitting in the corner. I call the Olympics a sports festival. There is a real festive atmosphere. Everyone is really excited for everyone else. “

Sign up for The Recap, the editor’s recommended weekly email.

This year’s edition threatens to take away much of that joy with the Covid protocol. “It’s strange that we can’t interact in the Olympic Village and we don’t have family or friends,” says Bardsley. “But I don’t make excuses. I play.”

Life after the pandemic is beginning to feel much more normal in the extreme northwestern part of the United States where Bardsley is vaccinated with Covid-19. “The protocol looks much more rigorous here,” she says. “I think people are a little more relaxed in America.”

Permanent restrictions in Europe complicate Riise’s work, but the first impression of Bardsley’s former Norwegian captain is very positive. “I like the Hege approach,” she says. “She seems to know exactly what she wants to achieve from every training session, every meeting. She’s very efficient in everything she does. She’s already been training a couple of times. I laughed, it was great, but I’m looking forward to getting to know her right. “

“I was in the dark”: Bardsley aims to grab the spot in England after hell of injury | England Women’s Soccer Team

Source link “I was in the dark”: Bardsley aims to grab the spot in England after hell of injury | England Women’s Soccer Team

Back to top button