Manchester City's Laura Coombs 'ready to get to work' for England after 'surprise' return ahead of Arnold Clark Cup | The Sun

BEING called back into the Lionesses' fold after almost three years has come as a shock to Laura Coombs.

The Manchester City star, 32, thought her moment with England had passed before receiving a call from head coach Sarina Wiegman. 

This Thursday could see the experienced WSL player, whose performances have earned her a new City contract, make her first senior Lionesses appearance since 2015. 

The midfield star is part of Sarina Wiegman’s 26-strong squad for the Arnold Clark Cup with England seeking to win the four-team tournament for the second year in a row. 

The Lionesses will face the Korea Republic at Stadium MK at 7:45 pm on that day.

The match will be the first of their three games in the contest followed by duels with Italy and Belgium. 

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Coombs revealed she was the middle of having an ice bath with her City club team-mate Khadija Shaw when she received the news of her call-up for England duty

And she admits a return to international football was the furthest thought from her mind.

Coombs said: "I was surprised because it’s been so long.

"I haven’t been thinking about the international stage anymore.

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"I was thinking I was going to get a break over the international period.

"I am really happy to be here. It was a shock but now I'm here, I'm ready to get to work. 

"I was surprised because it’s been so long."

This season Coombs, who joined Man City in 2019 after a two-year Liverpool spell, has been among the standout performers for Gareth Taylor’s Citizens.

The Kent-born footballer, who began her senior career at Arsenal in 2007,  has made 13 top-flight appearances for City so far this term notching up four goals and three assists

 And the club are now 14 games unbeaten at home and third in the league.

The midfielder, who made her international debut in October 2015 as a substitute during the Lionesses’ 2-1 loss to China, currently has two senior caps. 

Her last involvement with the squad came in November 2020 when she was called up to join an international camp during Phil Neville’s reign as head coach.

Coombs added: "At the time Phil was taking a look at me and I didn't come back.  

"It's a really weird feeling, getting that call (from Sarina) because I wasn't expecting it and that was the honest truth.

"Now I'm here, I'm really happy to be here.

"It's a really positive place coming off the back of the Euros (and the team winning the tournament). 

"It's an amazing group to be a part of and you just feel lucky when you're training that the level is so high and you're tested every day."

Since her first England appearance almost eight years ago at club level, Coombs has helped Man City win an FA Cup and last season’s Continental Tyres trophy 

And Taylor’s faith in her abilities have seen her start in 12 of the 13 WSL games City have played so far this term

A stark contrast to the midfielder making six top tier starts for the club last season.

Her most recent appearance saw her play a key role in the Citizens’ battling 2-1 defeat of Arsenal in the WSL on Saturday.

A result that saw City avenge their Conti Cup semis lost to the Gunners last Thursday. 

Coombs said: "It feels really comfortable at club. I'm being pushed by the people around me and the manager every day in training. 

"I feel really valued by the team and obviously, you can play and train a lot better when you're in that headspace.

"When I'm on a good roll, I've just been trying to keep that going."

With the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand commencing little over five months from now, Coombs could see in contention for a spot in Wiegman’s 23-strong squad.

Coombs added: "We’ve only had one training session so far.

"But I am excited to see what Sarina will be like in sessions going forward.

"She seems really approachable and in a manager that’s what you (as a player) want, someone you feel comfortable speaking to.

She has told me the type of player she sees me as so I have got a good idea of how she wants me to play. 

"It’s more of a case of just bedding into how the team is and how the team wants me to play."

When asked what it would mean to her if she were to be included in England's World Cup squad, Coombs said: "It would be incredible, knowing that my last cap was eight years ago.

"I just think that's a really unique journey.

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"Not many players have that time between call-ups.

"It's something I thought had passed, so it'd be even more special.”

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