Jill Scott: 'I still have a lot to give' following Everton move

By Emma Sanders & Jo CurrieBBC Sport
Jill Scott
Jill Scott trained with new club Everton last week and was set to be named in the match day squad on the weekend

England midfielder Jill Scott feels she "still has a lot to give" following her short-term loan move from Manchester City to Everton.

Scott, who turns 34 next week, extended her contract with City in June 2020 but has only started twice in all competitions this season.

She was set to be named in Everton's squad on Sunday but the game at Tottenham was postponed due to weather.

"Mentally, the fresh challenge was what I needed," Scott told BBC Sport.

"Everybody wants to have minutes on the pitch. It's why we turn up to training. It would be disrespectful for me to say I'd expect to come here and play all the time. Everton have got a fantastic midfield and it will be difficult to get in.

"But I felt I needed a new opportunity and a new challenge. I still feel like I have a lot to give. I know I'm turning 34 next week but I still feel like I'm 21. I'm willing to fight for my place and help the team."

A big part in Scott's decision to return to Everton - where she spent seven years before a move to City in 2013 - was to improve her chances of selection for Team GB for this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as next year's European Championship which will take place in England.

"Playing for England is always something I want to do and I know I have to be performing to do that. Being at Everton will give me the best possible opportunity," Scott said.

"It would mean everything [to be selected for Team GB]. When I look back to the 2012 Olympics it was probably my favourite tournament.

"Me and [former England defender] Claire Rafferty have the rings tattooed on our side. They look like five eggs instead of five rings! But it shows how proud we were to get into that squad. I hope she still has her tattoo…"

Scott has won 149 caps for England and could make the first start of her second Everton spell against City's local rivals Manchester United on Sunday (14:30 GMT kick-off).

'I started that journey 15 years ago'

Jill Scott
Jill Scott represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games during her first spell at Everton

Scott said it was "a bit crazy" returning to Everton but it was "very special" being reunited with old friends.

"It's changed massively. I keep getting lost so the building has definitely got bigger. There's extra pitches and everything but I can still see the one we used to train on.

"One of the biggest changes is that I'm here at 10am and not 10pm - that shows how much the women's game has come on. It's fantastic that I was able to start that journey with Everton 15 years ago and see how it's progressing now.

"I think I was coaching [winger] Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah the last time I was here. That's why she's such a good player!

"I do feel like the new girl though. I did my initiation which was a bit of Peter Andre, Mysterious Girl. I kept the top on!"

Scott, who says it is "weird" not seeing her City team-mates every day, joked Scotland international Claire Emslie has taken on the responsibility of looking after her - something England captain Steph Houghton used to do.

"When you come in as an experienced player, they expect you to be on the ball with everything and not forget. The problem is I know I'm probably the most forgetful here and I'm really untidy!

"I've already warned the staff I'll be the last to hand in my GPS and heart rate monitor and I'll probably forget the schedule. Steph Houghton used to help me a lot. I'm giving her a break and Claire Emslie has taken over now."

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