Midfield starlet Sophie Bramford is celebrating her latest England call-up after being selected for next month’s under-18 Lionesses training camp at St George’s Park, the Football Association’s national training centre near Burton on Trent.
Following her under-17 international appearances while with her previous club Birmingham City, Bramford – who signed for Wolves in last summer’s close season – has been involved in all of the current campaign’s under-18 meet-ups.
“I love the England training camps and can’t wait for this next one,” says the 17-year-old Thomas Telford School pupil, who is studying for ‘A’ levels in Business, PE and History but will be absent during 3-7 March when she will be in camp.
Not that her football commitments will adversely affect her schooling. “I’ll have certain hours set aside for study,” she notes, “so I’ll definitely be able to keep up with my school work as well as training hard at St George’s.
“The training camps keep me in the England system and that’s very important, because my ultimate aim is to play for the senior (national) team. But there’s no guarantee of being selected for every camp, so my work at club level is also vital.
“I have to keep working hard, keep improving, and I certainly feel that my game has come on since I joined Wolves. Before last year I was playing youth level football, but now I’m playing open age and it’s much tougher.
“Opponents are stronger and more experienced, you don’t get much time on the ball and you tend to get fewer touches, so you have to think quickly. All that has sharpened my game, and my physicality has improved too.”
Bramford has played a key role this term as Wolves press for promotion to the top flight of the National League and aim for a league and cup double after reaching the final of the Birmingham County Cup.
Sunday’s 3-0 win against Birmingham & West Midlands in the County Cup semi-final means that fierce local rivals West Bromwich Albion must now be overcome if the trophy is to be lifted for what would be the first time in 20 years.
Bramford said: “Promotion has been our focus all season and that’s not going to change, but if we could win the league and the County Cup as well that would be a fantastic achievement and reward for the all the hard work we’ve put in.”