A LIFE-changing couple few hours saw Birmingham City Ladies goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley go from watching Solihull Moors on Saturday to catching balls at Real Madrid’s training base in Spain following her first England call-up.
The 19-year-old was part of a record attendance at Solihull Moors as Marcus Bignot’s side went down to a 3-0 defeat in the National League, but just hours later Baggaley received an unexpected phone call.
It was to inform her that she was being called up for England for the first time having been part of England youth teams at Under-17, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-23 level.
Baggaley had been selected after Liverpool goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain withdrew from the squad after suffering an abdominal strain.
“I was just sitting down to watch the Solihull Moors match and then the England goalkeeping coach gave me a ring and told me I’d be coming to Spain,” said Baggaley.
“To get a call-up for England for the first time is a big honour. It’s a bit of a shock as well because I didn’t expect it but I’m really excited to get started.
“I’ve trained a couple of times with the first team and I think being around the Next Gen squad it was the next transition. Hopefully I can learn a lot this week.
“My first aim is to get selected again and I know that will be difficult with all the goalkeepers in this environment but I’ll just keep doing all I can to keep my feet in that door.”
Baggaley flew out with the England squad for a training camp which ended with a friendly fixture against Spain on Tuesday which Mark Sampson’s side won 2-1.
Former Birmingham City Ladies skipper Karen Carney got on the scoresheet for England while Manchester Women defender Steph Houghton scored with a superb free kick. Former Blues players Jade Moore and Jo Potter also featured for England.
Speaking about Baggaley’s surprise call-up, England goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall added: “Sophie is a player who has been in our youth system for some time and this season has really come on, doing well for Birmingham City when she has played.
“She is also the type of personality and character who fits well into the team.
“Sophie trained with the squad earlier in the camp at St. George’s Park and really impressed with her shot stopping and has certainly earned her right to be part of the squad.”