14-year-old footballer's 'dream' comes true after securing England trial
- Credit: Supplied by family
A 14-year-old footballer who has secured a spot at an England trial next month said it is “a dream come true”.
McKenzie Woodward, who attends Cromwell Community College in Chatteris, was greeted by her mother Kayliegh Beaney after leaving school when she was told the news that she had earned a place on the trials.
“I waited for her to come out of school, I told her the news, videoed it and we were both crying,” Kayliegh said.
“I recorded her while I was telling her and she burst into tears. I don’t think she still quite believes it.”
McKenzie, who plays for Chatteris Town Under 15s, was recommended to apply for the trials for the England under 14 girls' squad by her coach as part of the Lionesses’ development pathway.
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After McKenzie’s coach sent Kayliegh details on how to apply, she managed to secure a place at regional trials in Bottisham near Cambridge.
“This has been my goal for years and I thought I would never get a chance with England. It’s a dream come true,” McKenzie said.
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“I went to school and told everybody as I was so overwhelmed.
“Everybody has been pushing me. The school has been really supportive of me and I want to get through and try to be the best I can be.”
McKenzie is due to start her GCSEs in the next academic year, but if she is selected after the trials, she may be required to stay away from home as part of the development programme.
Matthew Woodward, McKenzie’s father, said he is “super proud” of his daughter’s achievements who he thinks has the potential to become “world famous”.
“She never misses a game; she’s dedicated and I’ve said to just go for it,” he said.
The trials are due to take place from July 10, Kayliegh’s birthday, and success for McKenzie could act as the ultimate gift.
“I knew she was good, but I never thought there would be a day when this would come,” she said.
“When she started, her coach said she will play for England one day. I said if you don’t get picked this time, you have got to get back up and keep going.
“It’s still a shock to think this could be the start of her career; I’m so proud of her.”