Jordan Nobbs thrilled to be part of England World Cup squad after past setbacks

By Sports Desk July 12, 2023

Jordan Nobbs admits it is an “unbelievable feeling” to be part of England’s World Cup squad this summer after the setbacks she has suffered in the past.

Nobbs, 30, went to the 2015 tournament in Canada but was restricted to just one appearance by a hamstring issue, then missed out on selection for the 2019 edition in France and the Euros that the Lionesses won on home soil last summer following knee injuries.

A year on from that latest disappointment, there was joy for Nobbs as she was included in England boss Sarina Wiegman’s 23 for the forthcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, at the end of a season that saw her make a January move from Arsenal to Aston Villa.

And the 71-cap midfielder said: “I think I’m still waking up now with that butterfly feeling.

“Everyone dreams of playing in major tournaments, and everyone knows the journey I’ve been on, so to be part of this one and such a talented squad, it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Nobbs had been with Arsenal since 2010, and she said of her departure: “It was a risk to a certain extent but also with the limited game time I was getting, it was kind of like I had nothing to lose as well.

“Naturally, there were a lot of tears and it was difficult to leave a club that I loved and owe a lot to, but when it comes to wanting to drive for another major tournament, I think I had to do everything possible, and as long as I knew I tried my best, I’d have been comfortable with whatever outcome came from that.”

She went on to make 11 WSL starts for Villa, scoring four goals, as they achieved a fifth-placed finish in the division, and she added: “I think I knew with regular game time I can get back to my best.

“I think Carla (Ward, the Villa manager) just gave me that confidence to go again and allow myself to be in the position I am now. She gave me a bit of love, and game time. Sometimes, it’s the small things that allow you to shine on the pitch.”

While things have come together on this occasion for Nobbs, there has been disappointment for the likes of England captain Leah Williamson and Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner Beth Mead, two of her former Arsenal team-mates who will miss this tournament after sustaining ACL injuries. Fran Kirby has been ruled out due to a knee issue as well.

Nobbs, whose injury prior to the 2019 World Cup was ACL damage, said: “I dropped them a message. But I think when you’ve been through that before, you know how many messages you get.

“So it’s just letting them know you’re there if they need you, but also they all need to take different journeys and roads to deal with the situation and come through that. Naturally, we’re all gutted for them.

“It’s like learning to walk again when you have that kind of injury. It’s a lot of sitting in front of the telly with ice on your leg and not really doing much. I think you do go into a place where you kind of self-sabotage and sit and mope around for a bit.

“Then, once you’re up and going again, that goal is just to get back on that pitch. It’s difficult times, but also that feeling of getting back, it’s what you need to do to get back.”

She added: “I think it does just make you resilient – if I look back and think about what I’ve gone through, and I’m still here fighting, you can come through a lot in football. It’s not just me, there’s other players who have had difficult times.

“It’s just that ‘never give up’ attitude really.”

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