England’s Lauren Hemp doesn’t like to admit it but she is, in her own words, a bit of a bad loser. Whether it’s training sessions, big matches or games not even related to football, she doesn’t like to lose. Fortunately, then, she doesn’t do it much. Since joining Manchester City as a 17-year-old and debuting for England not long after her 19th birthday, Hemp has done a lot of winning.
That’s not just in the domestic cups she’s lifted with her club or the major tournament triumph she enjoyed with her country last summer, either. Hemp also has four PFA Women's Young Player of the Year accolades to her name and has twice been included in the Women's Super League Team of the Year. It’s fair to say that a lot of the time, her team win because of her contributions.
England didn’t start the Women’s World Cup in flying form. There have been some stuttering performances and some scares on their way to the semi-finals, in which they will face co-hosts Australia on Wednesday.
But they’re finding their feet now, and it’s no surprise that the improvements have coincided with an upturn in fortunes for Hemp, whose match-winning qualities may well come in handy again as the Lionesses look to reach the final of this competition for the very first time.