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Fran Kirby is determined to make the most of her time with England.

Fran Kirby is determined to make the most of her time in the England squad as she looks to cement her place in the squad ahead of next summer’s Euro Cup.

Kirby has been in and out of the Lionesses setup for the past several years due to a combination of illness and injury. In November 2019, Kirby was diagnosed with pericarditis, a rare condition caused by fluid and inflammation of the sac that protects the heart.

The illness left her barely able to walk and kept her out of the game for eight months, and the 28-year-old was about to retire early.

Fran Kirby (above) is determined to make the most of her time in the England squad as she looks to cement her place in the squad ahead of the local European Championship next summer.

Fran Kirby (above) is determined to make the most of her time in the England squad as she looks to cement her place in the squad ahead of the local European Championship next summer.

The Chelsea forward returned to the game at the start of last season and enjoyed one of her best seasons, scoring 16 goals and giving 11 assists for the Blues to win the WSL title, the Conti Cup and reach the final of the Champions League.

But while Kirby was flying at club level, she endured a frustrating time with England as injuries excluded her from various camps.

But with new boss Sarina Wiegman now at the helm, Kirby is fully fit and eager to run on the side before next summer.

“It’s really important (to play),” Kirby said. “Last year I got injured for the first time while I was away with England, so it was quite difficult because I really felt like I was kicking at the club and I wanted to be here and play well.

“ I played in an inside game and I really enjoyed it and then obviously I suffered the injury which was disappointing and then you are struggling to try to come back faster.

Kirby (left) has been in and out of the Lionesses setup for the past several years due to a combination of illness and injury.

Kirby (left) has been in and out of the Lionesses setup for the past several years due to a combination of illness and injury.

Kirby (left) has been in and out of the Lionesses setup for the past several years due to a combination of illness and injury.

The Chelsea forward returned to the game at the start of last season and enjoyed one of her best seasons, scoring 16 goals and providing 11 assists for the Blues to win the WSL title.

“I feel good right now, so I want to make sure I continue to be a part of this team and learn from Sarina and what she wants and get into this group. I think it’s okay at the moment, the group is in a good place. It’s probably in one of the best places I’ve been for a long time in this group. Everyone is ready to go.

“We have had some good victories in the last few camps, but we know that this camp and the Austrian game will be a bit more challenging. I think it will show us a different side, hopefully we can rise to that challenge. ‘

“Not at the time she was sick.” But when I started to go back, to train and I started doing things again, it wasn’t that I believed I could do it, it was that I was just trying to force myself, I was just telling myself every day. ” do what you can and see what happens ”.

‘I had no expectation of achieving what I did last year and considering it this year, it was more just taking each game as it comes. That has also taught me a lot in terms of this year, I’m not going to get caught up in anything, I’m just taking every game, every training session. I don’t think I would have believed it at first, but when I was training I thought I could really do it and move on now. ‘

Kirby admitted that he now puts more emphasis on rest and recovery, especially with the hectic schedule that comes with Chelsea playing in the Champions League group stage for the first time.

With new coach Sarina Wiegman (above) now at the helm, Kirby is fully fit and eager to run on the side before next summer.

With new coach Sarina Wiegman (above) now at the helm, Kirby is fully fit and eager to run on the side before next summer.

With new coach Sarina Wiegman (above) now at the helm, Kirby is fully fit and eager to run on the side before next summer.

Kirby now puts more emphasis on rest and recovery, especially with the hectic schedule that comes with Chelsea playing in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.

Kirby now puts more emphasis on rest and recovery, especially with the hectic schedule that comes with Chelsea playing in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.

Kirby now puts more emphasis on rest and recovery, especially with the hectic schedule that comes with Chelsea playing in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.

“ I’m in the pool every day, I do ice baths every day after training, I go late at night for extra recovery in a gym. It’s just 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, constantly thinking about how I can prepare my body to go over and over again.

“We have had a difficult schedule these last weeks and there have been many trips, many difficult games, so handling in that capacity is difficult. It’s not easy, you get criticism, you get little things that maybe keep you out. But it’s understanding when you need to take one more day, just to allow you, your body to recover and then come back, because what we’re doing is intense.

“I think for me before, I was so concerned about doing the same thing as everyone else, always always comparing,” she’s in training ground so I need to go to training ground today. ” And then eventually I would break down.

‘He just understood me and understood what is most important to me at this moment? Is it to go out and start crashing 20 balls to the bottom of the net? Is it maybe to take some extra time to do a foam roller or get a massage? So he’s just learning those differences. ‘

England will play Austria on Saturday in what will be the toughest match they have faced in their World Cup qualifiers so far. The Lionesses have won their last four games by an aggregate score of 32-0, but this should be a closer encounter.

‘It’s exciting for us. The level of opposition that we have been playing has not tested us as much as we would have liked.

“It’s great for us that we score goals and don’t concede any, but you want to be challenged, you want to see where you really are in terms of playing against better opponents.”

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