Fran Kirby: Lionesses return was great, I feel like I've never been away

Back: Fran Kirby (The FA via Getty Images)
Back: Fran Kirby (The FA via Getty Images)

Chelsea playmaker Fran Kirby says it felt like she had never been away after making her first England appearance in a year.

Kirby came off the bench in the second half against Belgium on Friday night as the Lionesses won 1-0 to get their Nations League campaign back on track.

It was the first time since October last year that Kirby has played for England, with a knee injury picked up in February ruling her out of this summer’s World Cup.

The 30-year-old has admitted it was hard watching on from the sidelines, but now she’s back in the squad it feels like she never left.

“I think at the beginning of my injury it was quite tough because you don’t really know when the end of the injury is,” said Kirby.

“I think I accepted quite early on that I wasn’t going to be part of the World Cup squad, so, not that it made it any easier, but I was able to support the girls and kind of feel the same emotions that they were going through, and being able to be back with them now just means that all the hard work paid off during the summer.

“I’ve really enjoyed [the comeback], but kind of coming back in, you don’t feel like you’ve been away, that’s just how it is seeing these faces.

“But yeah I’ve really enjoyed it. I [was] working hard over the summer to try and get back as quickly as possible and, being able to be involved tonight, it was really special.

“I feel like I haven’t been away and obviously I know a lot of the girls from playing against them. Everyone that’s come in has brought a new fresh face, a new standard, and it’s been nice to be in training around them and get to know them a bit more personally.

“I don’t think I need to mould in at all, I’m probably one of the oldest players here now so I think I know what I’m doing.”