Uk News The move that 'reignited the fire' for Bardsley and earned her a surprise England recall United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - A torn hamstring was followed by rehab and lockdown for Bardsley, but now she is back with England after her move to OL Reign
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Karen Bardsley’s mind goes back two decades, to Ayala High School, east of Los Angeles. “I remember being 16 years old sitting in the quad with some of my friends over lunch. We were asking each other about what tattoos we would get.“I said the only way I would ever get a tattoo is if I get to the Olympics, and we all just like laughed it off. Lo and behold I ended up going. That will obviously forever be etched in my mind – and on my wrist.”Bardsley laughs, as she does a lot in our conversation over Zoom. She will later reveal she was in a “dark” place last year, struggling to deal with the after-effects of injury and her absence from competitive football.i's fantasy football tips newsletter: get aheadEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.As the laughing suggests, she is now in a good place mentally – and literally, having been recalled to the England squad currently training at St George’s Park for internationals against France on Friday and Canada on Tuesday. Read More Covid vaccine passports at the FA Cup final would be ‘discrimination’, ‘wrong’ and create a ‘slippery slope’ At stake is a place with Team GB for this summer’s Olympics, and just thinking about that brings memories of London 2012 flooding back.Bardsley loved the fact that, for the first time, the women’s team was treated the same as the men’s. She obviously loved beating Brazil at Wembley in front of family and friends. But she also loved the “surreal moments”.She explains: “You’re traipsing through the [athletes’] village and there’s [Lionel] Messi playing volleyball. It’s just, ‘what?’ You see the USA basketball team walk into the dining hall and you’re just like, ‘whoa!’ You see Usain Bolt and Serena Williams, and you’re like ‘man, this is crazy’.“It was really cool to be able to experience that in person. I never thought it would happen. [The tattoo] was just one of those flippant comments that you make as a child. For it to happen once was a dream and for it to happen again… Wow, it would be absolutely unreal.”It would also be quite a comeback. In the 2019 Women’s World Cup quarter-final Bardsley tore her hamstring off the bone.
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.She was just about to start training again last March when lockdown happened. Factor in Ellie Roebuck’s outstanding form for Manchester City and Bardsley has played two competitive matches in 21 months.That time on the sidelines led to a lot of soul-searching. “It was dark. It wasn’t a very good time for me. It was a place of frustration, a lot of questioning myself: am I good enough? Am I still capable? Do I still enjoy it? That was probably the most important question. Am I still enjoying it? What do I need to change?”
The answer was location. Bardsley joined Seattle-based OL Reign in February and while the US season does not start until Friday, she has been playing competitive warm-ups – certainly more competitive than her sole WSL appearance this season, a 7-0 win over Aston Villa. Nevertheless, she admits surprise at her call-up. “I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t expecting it, but hey, I’m here!”Bardsley’s USP is her experience, at 36 she has won 81 caps and played in six major tournaments. Current England No.1 Roebuck is 21 and has six caps, all in friendlies.Earlier this season the pair were joking that Roebuck’s 2012 Team GB replica shirt probably had “BARDSLEY” on the back. Not that Bardsley, despite being a friend and mentor to her Manchester City colleague, accepts Roebuck now has possession.“In my mind it’s still mine,” she says. “I haven’t done anything to lose it other than getting injured. I feel reinvigorated by this move. It’s allowed me to find myself, find my enjoyment again, find my confidence. It’s reignited that fire. I want to play. I’m not here to sit on the touchline.”
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com