Maya Le Tissier has emphasised her determination to keep improving after returning to the England squad following the “bittersweet” experience of her summer.
The 21-year-old Manchester United defender was part of the Lionesses’ preparations for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but not their subsequent run to the final, having been named as one of two standby players that flew home after the tournament began.
Two-cap Le Tissier, who says it was “devastating” to not make Sarina Wiegman’s World Cup 23, is now back as a member of the first squad selected since, for matches in the inaugural Women’s Nations League against Scotland on Friday and the Netherlands four days later.
She said of her summer: “It was bittersweet. I loved Australia, loved being with the girls. I really enjoyed my experience out there, it’s such a cool country.
“Just being a small part of the preparation going into the tournament has definitely made me more hungry to be selected for the next tournaments to come.
“Obviously it was devastating when I got the call that I wasn’t selected in the 23, but there was nothing else I could really do apart from be as good as I could for the team and try to put myself in the best place I could, helping them prepare for the World Cup.”
Asked how desperate she was to make the cut for Euro 2025 – England players also have the target of next summer’s Olympics with Great Britain, qualification for which can be secured via the Nations League – Le Tissier said: “(I’m) extremely desperate, but it’s in two years – there’s a lot that can happen in two years.
“I just need to focus on playing football and getting better. I’m still young so I’ve got a lot of things to learn and improve on, so if I can do that, that’ll put me in the best place to be selected.
“I’m just focusing on the present, doing well in these next two games with England and starting the Women’s Super League season (on October 1).
“(I need to) just keep playing well and doing well for United, doing well when I’m here, and hopefully be a big part of the team in years to come.
“I think I can look at the players and take a lot from them, and see how I can develop.
“They’re European champions and they just got to a World Cup final. I’m very inspired by the rest of the team and I just have to perform, day in, day out, as well as I can and consistently.
“I’ve still got a long way to go, so it’s exciting to see what happens in the future.”
England kick off their Nations League Group A1 fixtures by playing the Scots at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.
Le Tissier said: “I think Scotland-England is a game everyone wants to be a part of.
“They want to beat us, we want to beat them, and it’s going to be an exciting game, especially up north. They’re massive football fans up there.
“I watched the men’s game the other day (a 3-1 win for England at Hampden Park) and it was a crazy atmosphere as well, so we’re really looking forward to the game.
“They’ve got some good players but we’ll be focusing on ourselves and seeing what we can do to beat them.”
After that contest, England then head to Utrecht for the Netherlands match.
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