Former Birchwood High School pupil Anna Grey making waves with England under-18s and Ipswich Town after starting football journey at Bishop's Stortford Community Football Club
Anna Grey is taking the next steps on the path she hopes could one day lead to full international honours at an England under-18s training camp this week.
The former Bishop's Stortford Community Football Club winger was part of a 23-strong squad selected by manager Mo Marley for the five-day get together at St George's Park, which runs until Saturday.
Grey, who turned 18 last month, began her football career at Stortford in 2008 and played there for nine years, winning the league three times and the National Futsal Cup.
The ex-Birchwood High School pupil went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur under-18s in the 2017-18 season as well as being part of the Cambridgeshire FA's Advanced Coaching Centre.
After one campaign with Spurs, she joined Ipswich Town's under-21 programme. She made her senior debut for the Suffolk club against Billericay in September 2019 and scored her first goal in the East Anglian derby against Norwich City the following month.
Grey has four goals and six assists to her name this season for the Ipswich first team and has helped them go top of Women's National League, Division One South East.
She dreams of helping Ipswich climb from the fourth tier to the Women's Super League and is also targeting a place in the England squad for the next Under-19 European Championships.
"Two years ago I was still playing grassroots football and when I got my first England call-up it was a bit surreal," said Grey, who has been to one under-18 England camp before as well as four at under-17 level.
"For about a year I had trials at different clubs and didn't get in, but Ipswich took me under their wing and have got me into England. It's really intense in the camps, but everyone's there for the same reason and wants to do well.
"When you get up to the under-19s you've got the Euros. That's something I've got my eyes on, but you've got to take each training camp as it comes."
Grey now attends St Joseph's College in Ipswich where she is studying for A-Levels in maths and biology. Her busy schedule sees her regularly return home to Aythorpe Roding to see mum Anne, dad Andrew, who coached her BSCFC girls' team for a couple of years, and older sister and fellow ex-Birchwood student Olivia.
She was joined by five Ipswich team-mates when the Young Lionesses met up this week. They were in the squad alongside players from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
"I was at Stortford for a long time and made a lot of friends there," said Grey. "Our team won the league three times and the National Futsal Cup. We had a good group of girls.
"At Ipswich, we've got a really good thing going with six under-18 international players. We're hoping to go through the leagues and get into the Super League.
"I want to keep working as hard as I can and go as far as I can in my career, and hopefully do it with Ipswich."
More by this authorMichael Vaughton