Women's Super League: Sunderland striker Beth Mead says she is 'no one-trick pony'

By Andrew AloiaBBC Sport
Beth Mead in action against Chelsea
Beth Mead, who was named England Young Player of the Year in December, scored 14 goals in all competitions last season

Sunderland striker Beth Mead wants to prove that she is "no one-season wonder" by again finishing as Women's Super League One's top goalscorer - and making her debut for England.

In her first top-flight campaign, the 20-year-old netted 12 league goals and was named Players' Player of the Year.

She earned her first England call-up in October and is "hungry" for more international recognition.

"I want to prove a point that I'm no one-trick pony," Mead told BBC Sport.

"I was on cloud nine when it all happened for me last season, it was surreal - the best season I've had so far.

"I'd like to go back-to-back as top goalscorer. That would be an achievement that no one else has done so far. That, and I'd maybe go for goal of the season as well - pull a worldy out of somewhere."

England ambitions

Mead, who has represented England at every age-group level, hopes another prolific season will convince Lionesses boss Mark Sampson that she is capable of performing with the senior team.

She was part of the England squad that played two friendlies in China in October, but did not make it onto the pitch.

"I'd have liked to have played a part in China, but you have to stay level-headed with it," Mead said.

"As soon as it gets to you, then that is when your downfall happens. I just want to keep improving and give myself the best chance to be in the squad.

"To get that taste and not to get back in the team makes me want it more. Having that taste makes you more hungry."

WSL 1: Beth Mead scores hat-trick for Sunderland

Mead was overlooked for the recent SheBelieves Cup in the United States, with Eniola Aluko one of four Chelsea forwards in the squad alongside Manchester City's Toni Duggan and Portland Thorns' Jodie Taylor.

"I've tried to do my best for him [Sampson] not to ignore me," Mead said.

"He has a strong group of strikers in there at the moment and I have to push one of them out.

"I try my hardest, watch how they play and I watched England's games in America. I need to replicate that and better it. I hope I can, eventually."

Tough act to follow

Mead, the youngest player to finish as WSL 1's top scorer, anticipates plenty of attention from opposition defences after her efforts in 2015.

She helped newly-promoted Sunderland to the top of the table in July, but the Lady Black Cats eventually finished fourth.

"It's going to be quite tough to top it," she said.

"People are going to know a lot more about what I'm about and the team. There will be more pressure on all of us, because we didn't have any pressure coming up last year.

"It's going to be a real test, but I'm just like the rest of the team and am excited about what's in store for us."