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World Cup 2023: The Experience of Being a Standby Player

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Standby Player Experience

Lucy Staniforth, after her transition from Manchester United to Aston Villa in January, ended the season on a high note.

The role is an unenviable one, yet a necessary one – the standby player for the World Cup. The assignment involves an instant disruption of all arrangements, requiring one to fly halfway across the globe, should one of the privileged 23 selected players sustain an injury. It’s one of the most demonstrative examples of team spirit.

England’s midfielder, Lucy Staniforth, was a belated addition to Sarina Wiegman’s standby list, forgoing a vacation in Ibiza with her mother as she filled in for injured Manchester City forward, Jess Park. This made her one of the Lionesses’ substitute options in Australia for the month.

Staniforth, from Aston Villa, and Manchester United’s defender Maya Le Tissier were part of the European champions’ team on the Sunshine Coast. They trained with the team and assisted in preparing for the first match against Haiti.

With all the chosen Lionesses unscathed through preparation and ready for the first match, Staniforth and Le Tissier’s camp time concluded.

They were present in Brisbane, witnessing England’s victorious start before flying to Sydney to support the team as fans during their travel.

“Currently, it’s a blend of pride and a bit of sadness,” expressed Staniforth.

“I’m saddened to part ways with the team and the tournament. The entire journey has been fantastic, but at the end, I’m profoundly proud of myself.

“It’s an unfamiliar role to take on, to abandon your entire life and seize the opportunity to collaborate with the team.

“I’m incredibly proud to have approached it with a positive attitude and hopefully added value to the team.”

Check here for the latest updates from the Women’s World Cup. The Lionesses were a bit off pace but managed to secure the win.

So, what’s in store for Staniforth and Le Tissier?

“I hope to check a few things off my bucket list while here,” shared Staniforth. “Maya and I are off to Sydney. It’s exciting with the World Cup events taking place.

“If you travel this far, you have to seize the moment. The staff arranged a walk on top of the Harbour Bridge as a ‘thank you’.

“But, I’m acrophobic! I’ll put on a brave face and smile. We’ll do it together. Maya will lead, and I’ll just watch her!”

Staniforth hasn’t given up yet.

Joining the squad and aiding the players who have secured a place, and interacting with the manager who didn’t select you for the World Cup, must evoke a bizarre feeling.

However, for Staniforth, these additional weeks were an opportunity to impress the coach.

“I didn’t want my presence and subsequent absence to go unnoticed. You always aim to leave a mark,” she added.

“It’s a testament to the group and Sarina’s warm welcome. It was an organic progression for me to join training and be myself.”

Staniforth is hopeful of playing at another significant tournament as well.

The 30-year-old was part of the 2019 World Cup but didn’t make it to Wiegman’s 28-player preliminary team for Euro 2022.

“That thought was looming in my mind – you aim to utilize every chance you get to secure a place in Sarina’s plans.

“I’m hopeful that my form from the previous season will persist and I’m excited for the upcoming internationals. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to be part of the squad because I’m not done yet.

“I still aspire to accomplish more and make valuable contributions to this team. I’d be delighted to be involved in the future.”

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Standby Player Experience

Who is Lucy Staniforth and what is her role in the Women’s World Cup 2023?

Lucy Staniforth is an English footballer who was a standby player for the Women’s World Cup 2023. She was ready to step in should any of the selected 23 players get injured.

What does being a standby player mean?

A standby player in a World Cup setting is someone who is expected to drop all plans and be ready to fly across the world at a moment’s notice if any of the selected players get injured.

Why did Lucy Staniforth have to miss a holiday?

Lucy Staniforth had to miss a planned holiday because she was called in as a late addition to the Women’s World Cup 2023 standby list, replacing an injured player.

How did Lucy Staniforth contribute to the team despite being a standby player?

Despite being a standby player, Lucy Staniforth was involved in training with the team and helping prepare for their matches, contributing to the team with her positive attitude.

What are Lucy Staniforth’s hopes for the future?

Lucy Staniforth hopes to continue in her strong form from the previous season and be selected for the next international tournaments. She is determined to further contribute to the team and achieve more in her football career.

More about Standby Player Experience

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SoccerSam July 23, 2023 - 10:47 am

its hard not to admire Lucy’s attitude. Being a standby player seems tough, but she’s handling it with grace and positivity. Lookin forward to seeing her in the next internationals.

Jessie04 July 23, 2023 - 7:53 pm

Wow, hats off to Lucy! Can’t even start to imagine the kind of dedication this role needs. I mean, dropping your plans and just…being ready? Madness, but respect ✊

GoalDigger July 23, 2023 - 11:18 pm

a little bitter sweet i suppose? Giving up a holiday is tough but then it’s the world cup. Gotta admire her commitment tho.

FootieFan93 July 24, 2023 - 1:34 am

Honestly guys, I feel sorry for her. It’s like being called up for the biggest moment in your career and then… nothing. Hope she gets her chance soon. She’s class on the pitch.

LionessLover July 24, 2023 - 2:03 am

Never realized the pressure standby players must be under. Must be tough to train and then sit out the actual matches. Hope Lucy keeps up her spirits!!


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