Lauren Hemp striving for consistency after earning praise from Usain Bolt

The 22-year-old last season scored 21 times in all competitions for Manchester City.

Phil Medlicott
Wednesday 05 April 2023 13:45 BST
Lauren Hemp in action for England (Mike Egerton/PA)
Lauren Hemp in action for England (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

England forward Lauren Hemp has emphasised she is striving for more consistency in her performances after the eye-catching display last month that earned her praise from Usain Bolt.

The 22-year-old last season scored 21 times in all competitions for Manchester City, and was named PFA young player of the year for a fourth time before helping England win the Euros during the summer.

She notched her fourth Women’s Super League goal of the current campaign with a fine strike when City beat Chelsea 2-0 at the Academy Stadium on March 26, as well as providing the assist for the opener – and after the game met eight-time Olympic gold-medallist sprinter Bolt, who had been in the stands and asked for her shirt.

Regarding her form in general this season, Hemp, currently with England preparing for Thursday’s Finalissima against Brazil at Wembley and the friendly against Australia in Brentford five days later, said: “I think it’s been a mixture of highs and lows.

“The main thing for me that I’m working on is being more consistent in my performances. If I’m being really critical on my season, it hasn’t gone as well as I’d hoped it to.

“It’s important that I try to be more consistent. And I think I am personally very critical on myself, so it’s important for me to also look at the positives.”

The positives in Hemp’s performance against Chelsea seemed to make quite an impression on Bolt, who had also been watching City striker Khadija Shaw, his fellow Jamaican.

Hemp said of her encounter with Bolt: “It was great. It came as a bit of a surprise. I knew he was at the game, but we were just in the changing rooms after the match and Bunny (Shaw) got a call and then she came off the phone and was like ‘do you mind giving Usain your shirt?’.

“It was nice to meet him, I just was speaking to him for about 10 or 15 minutes. I signed a shirt for him, had a photo. He’s lovely, he was really nice to me, and it’s nice that people like that come and watch women’s football. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to make it more common and not like it’s a surprise.

“He was saying I looked really confident when I was playing, obviously quite quick, which we both have in common, some more than others! He was just being really nice, and I was listening to his and Bunny’s conversation, and he was lovely and just sort of singing my praises really.

“Hopefully you’ll see him at another City game some time in the future. Obviously I know he is a mad United fan, but he was at the right game that day!”

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