Thursday 13 July 2017

NEWS: Johnson Earns Team GB Call

​Durham Women FC defender Annabel Johnson will jet off to Chinese Taipei this summer after being selected to represent Team GB at the World University Games.

The full-back, who combines playing for the Wildcats with studying for a Masters Degree in Management at Durham University, is part of a squad of 20 players from 14 institutions who will take part in the biennial event.

Team GB will be in Pool D for the tournament, which will see them face Russia and South Korea.

Before the tournament begins, the team will head to Hong Kong for a training camp in early August.

And Johnson can’t wait to get going, saying: “I couldn't be happier about being called up to Team GB.

“I feel it's a once in a life time opportunity I've got to go and participate in the second biggest sporting competition in the world, whilst representing Great Britain.

“I never expected to be included in the squad, but now I am I can't wait to embrace it all, enjoy it and use it to help me develop as a player.

“The call up process involved an all day trial.

“It was when we were all out of season, so physically it was very testing.

“The standard was high and the environment was competitive - I have also never ached so much for the few days after!

“Thankfully I received an email a few days later confirming my place, which of course I was delighted about.”

The last time Team GB entered a side into the tournament - in 2013 - they lifted the trophy, and Johnson is keen to emulate their achievement this summer.

“I'm definitely aiming for gold this summer,” she said.

“I’m sure everyone else within the squad is also.

“The 2013 squad was full of good players which made a great achievement.

“Winning the games was made a clear objective at the trials, and as a very competitive person I will work my hardest to achieve this with the team.”

It has been a successful year for Johnson, who has become a regular in the Wildcats’ first team while enjoying success with the Durham University BUCS side as they lifted the National Championship.

“Winning the national championships with the university side was a great feeling,” said Johnson.

“That could have been down to throwing away a 3-1 and then winning it in the 97th minute!

“It was a dramatic game which tested the nerves, but that's why we play, for the challenging and exciting games.

“My first year at Durham with both the university and WSL teams has been hard work and very rewarding.

“It's given me the opportunity to prioritise my football and be apart of two great teams.

“Now I've settled in, I can't wait to start the hard work again and help both teams achieve highly whilst focusing on improving my game.”

Everyone at the club wishes Annabel all the best with Team GB, and we'll keep you up to date with her progress!

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