Many regard Cobham or La Masia to be institutions that produce the best Footballing talent in the world but the James Family is right up there with them producing not one but two of the finest of talents in women’s and men’s Football in Lauren and Reece James.
Their father Nigel, Who is a Uefa licensed coach and ex-player made an appearance on “ The Beautiful Game “ podcast where he spoke about the two.
Nigel revealed about the issues her daughter Lauren faced while her career was being fast -tracked at Arsenal. He said: “She (Lauren James) was too good to train with the Arsenal girls when she first went there.”
“So, Arsenal tried something, Pedro (Martinez Losa) who was the coach at the time, brought her in to train with the women.”
“She was probably about 14 at the time. She stayed in her digs for a couple of nights and they got a tutor to teach her, so she trained with the women.”
He further said: “The manager left, another manager came in. There was a game she played in where the manager let her take a penalty. She took the penalty, but the next day senior players didn’t like it at the time.”
“They then asked for Lauren to be removed from the first team squad at Arsenal and to go back in the academy, but the solution was she train with the academy boys. This had never happened before so it was a big thing. Some parents didn’t like it.”
He further revealed that they realized Lauren’s Time at Arsenal was up when she was asked to go back to training with the Arsenal academy girls which Nigel felt was a step down for her as she was clearly able to play at levels above that.
However, Lauren always was used to playing with boys and people elder to her in her Father’s Local team alongside the likes of Reece James her brother and players like Connor Callagher and Jacob Maddox, James refined her raw ability and developed a gild of resilience that few girls her age possessed.
In one of her earliest interview she revealed all her life she was used to playing against boys and even revealed that at first they would take a glance at her and think, why is she here? But after a few weeks, they would realise why she belonged.
The flying winger could make her World Cup debut for England in just a few weeks’ time, after she was named in the 23-player squad by manager Sarina Wiegman. The Lionesses face Haiti in their opening game on July 22 in Brisbane, with James competing for a spot with Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp.