Jill Scott hoping Everton move can help her achieve double Olympic dream with Team GB but England midfielder insists it will be ‘difficult’ to force her way into the Toffees’ starting XI after rejoining the club on loan
- Jill Scott joined Everton on loan from Manchester City earlier this month
- The England midfielder is seeking regular game time with the Toffees
- Scott is hoping the move can help her earn a place in the Team GB squad
Jill Scott admitted she is hoping her loan move to Everton can give her a fighting chance of making the Team GB squad this summer but insists she is not expecting to walk straight into the Toffees’ starting XI.
The midfielder, who left Everton in 2013, made the decision to return to Merseyside after starting just two league games for Manchester City this season.
Scott has 149 caps for England and was part of the Team GB squad in 2012 but knows she will need to be playing regularly to have a chance of making the team once again.
Jill Scott is hoping her loan move to Everton can help her get a place in Team GB this summer
‘The chance to represent your country, represent England, represent Team GB, I think they are my fondest memories in football,’ Scott said. ‘I’ve been lucky enough to go to some amazing tournaments. I think this move should keep us in the framework for that.
‘But at the same time I don’t want to be disrespectful and say I’m coming here to get game time because it’s going to be difficult, there are a lot of top players here – Izzy Christiansen, Claire Emslie. Training has been difficult, I know that I’m going to have to be on top of my game to challenge for a place here.
‘If the Olympics don’t go ahead or I don’t get selected at least I know I’ve tried. Maybe it would have been easier for me to stay at City in my comfort zone but I think this shows that I’ve still got the drive and determination and I want to push myself.
The midfielder has 149 caps for England and was part of the Team GB squad back in 2012
‘I turn 34 next week and I’ve still got the same amount of drive and energy as I had when I was 21. Everyone keeps saying it’s your last few years and I suppose it is and I just want to make the most of it.’
Scott was part of an Everton side that won the FA Cup in 2010 but her departure, along with several others, saw the club suffer relegation in 2014. The Toffees are now back in the top flight and train full-time at Finch Farm alongside the men’s team and Scott said it was ‘special’ to be back where her WSL journey started.
‘One of the biggest changes is that I’m here at 10 o’clock in the morning and not 10 o’clock at night!’ Scott said. ‘We were training 8-10 on a night the first time I was here. Everton were very supportive but then to see how much support has gone into it now is incredible really.
‘There’s players like Chantelle (Boye-Hlorkah) who I used to coach the first time I was here because she was probably only 11 or 12 years old and now to see her playing for the first team and being able to have those dreams and aspirations that are a reality.
Scott left Everton in 2013 to join Manchester City but is searching for regular game time
‘When I was here the first time we always had that dream of being a professional footballer but it wasn’t even a thing. It is really special being back here, to see how far the club has come and how well the girls are doing in the league, making the FA Cup final. I’m sure they can go on to achieve a lot of success.
‘I said in lockdown I would probably only go back to Everton. As soon as I heard they were interested it just made sense.
‘It’s a team that I’ve really admired. Willie as a manger is someone I’ve admired as well. It all clicked into place and I’m very fortunate that I’ll be here. I’ve been smiling quite a lot these last few days, I’ve definitely seen some dodgy training ground photos.
‘I’m kind of like the new kid on the block even though I’m not and it’s going to test me. I need to get some better jokes, I’ve definitely realised that, I thought I was funny back at City.’
The 33-year-old admitted that there is strong competition for places at the Toffees
When asked how the current Everton team compare to the ones she was part of earlier in her career, the midfielder joked that she might have to organise an old girls v new girls match.
‘Maybe I’ll get Fara Williams and Rachel Brown-Finnis back and we’ll have a little game of five-a-side!
‘I think it’s hard to compare because of the way the game has changed. I certainly know those Everton girls, Fara and Rachel, they’re my friends for life now because of that stint that I had at this club and I think that’s what this club creates, a real family environment. Now they’ve added that winning mentality as well. I don’t know which team would win and I don’t want to upset the culture if I bring back a five-a-side team and we beat them!’