Club hoping for Lauren Hemp's 'one big moment' in Euros final
- Credit: Josh Roper
Members of a north Norfolk football club are hoping their hero Lauren Hemp gets "her one big moment" in the Euro 2022 final on Sunday.
North Walsham FC, where the 21-year-old Lioness started playing football, will throw open the doors of its clubhouse on Sunday (July 31) for people wanting to watch the big match.
Josh Roper, 27, coach for North Walsham Ladies, said: "We can't wait. It's great for everybody, for the club, for the town."
The game kicks off at 5pm and BBC Radio Norfolk will be broadcasting live from the clubhouse on Greens Road.
All of England's games, from the group stage through to the semi-final on Tuesday (July 26) when the Lionesses routed Sweden 4-0, have been shown at the club.
Mr Roper said: "We didn't really know what to expect when we opened up the club for watching the games, but it's been really busy.
"It's been open since the group stage. It's worked quite well. We've had training sessions before the games and piled into the clubhouse afterward, everyone from the under-9s to the ladies.
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"It's brought the club together," he added.
"You know when Lauren gets the ball because the clubhouse goes silent."
As the Lionesses have progressed through the tournament, more people have come to the clubhouse to watch the games, and the club has erected a marquee with a big screen on the pitch to accommodate the extra spectators.
"For the semi-final we had between 50 and 60 people," said Mr Roper, who was a volunteer coach when Hemp returned from Norwich for a second spell in her hometown.
On Sunday it is likely there will be even more people flocking to the club, all of them paying particular attention to their local hero, whose autographed shirt occupies a place of honour on the clubhouse wall.
"We're all hoping Lauren gets her one big moment in the final," Mr Roper said.
Hemp, a former Millfield Primary and North Walsham High pupil, played for her hometown club before joining the Norwich City youth set up.
She made the step into the professional game with Bristol City in 2016 and her form earned the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2018.
Her big move to Manchester City followed later that year and a full international debut arrived in 2019.