Search

Arsenal’s Ngunga gunning for England spot

PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 August 2017

Arsenal youngster Jess Ngunga

Arsenal youngster Jess Ngunga

Archant

It’s not every day you get to receive words of advice from the England women’s football manager at a major tournament.

But having done just that, one of Arsenal’s youngsters insists it has only made her more motivated than ever to one day try and be a part of the senior Lionesses set up herself.

Jess Ngunga, 16, was one of five aspiring young athletes who travelled to the Netherlands this week to watch both the England and Scotland camps train ahead of their opening Women’s European Championships clash in Utrecht on Wednesday.

The opportunity came about due to Ngugna being selected this year as an SSE Next Generation athlete – a programme that supports 50 young athletes who have been identified as stars of the future.

The striker is already a part of the England Under-17s set up herself but admitted the chance to see at first hand how the seniors prepare and perform under pressure – plus talk with manager Mark Sampson – had been a real eye opener.

“The best bit was watching England train before the match and meeting Mark Sampson and assistant coach Gemma Grainger,” said Ngunga, after watching England beat Scotland comprehensively 6-0.

“Mark has come to watch our training session with England Under-17s before so he recognised me and it was good to talk with him directly.

“It was also good getting a feel for their senior team’s routines and how they go about their business in tournament mode and how they interact with each other as one day I want to be a part of the team.

“They played really well against Scotland. It was a really good atmosphere and you could tell they were well prepared.”

Ngunga’s trip to the Netherlands also saw her receive media training, experience a meet and greet with former SSE Next Generation athlete and Manchester City star Georgia Stanway, and the chance to explore Amsterdam.

Last season she balanced studying for her GCSEs with playing for Arsenal – where she has started appearing for the reserve team – and also the England Under-17 outfit, including in the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championships.

And she revealed she has big plans for next season already.

“I’m going to still play with the reserves next year but see if I can train with the first team and show what I can do,” she added.

“I’ve spoken with the reserves manager Kelly Smith quite a lot and she said she was impressed with how I had gone from the Under-17s straight into the reserves quite easily last season. So I want to keep trying to impress her.

“We have our induction on August 1 and then we will start doing pre-season and getting ready.”

*Since 2013, SSE is proud to make a difference to young people, their families and their communities, by investing in the future of sporting talent through the SSE Next Generation scheme. Keep up to date @YourSSE.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 15:46

Times ABC’s Zaki Hussain was celebrating after winning the North West London challenge belt at 52kg with victory over Tayyip Noor (Two Kings).

Yesterday, 14:18

Arsenal will be aiming to seal their position at the top of their UEFA Europa League group on Thursday when they visit rock-bottom Cologne.

Yesterday, 12:00

Boyhood Arsenal fan and NBA star OG Anunoby wants to inspire the next generation of young Great British basketball players.

Tue, 09:30

England’s women proved too strong for China to book a quarter-final place at the Hockey World League Final in New Zealand.

Mon, 12:04

Arsenal have announced a link-up with a rising success story in women’s youth football.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spurs captain disappointed with defeat to north London rivals Arsenal, but keen not to blame referee Mike Dean for the loss at the Emirates

Sunday, November 19, 2017

For the final word on the superb victory over Spurs on Saturday here’s Ella Meadwocroft’s must-read column as she hails Arsenal, saying North London is still very much red...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

England’s women were edged out by a solitary in their second match at the Hockey World League Final in New Zealand.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now