1. ITV Report

Teen girl soccer star playing with the boys to fulfil her professional dream

Lauren Hemp has played for England in her age group but plays with the boys to get the experience she needs. Photo: ITV News Anglia

She's a teenage girl who's played football for England and says Sunday League with the lads can help her fulfil her professional dream.

Lauren Hemp is 15 and from North Walsham in Norfolk. She already played for England at her age range.

However Lauren has also been playing in boys' teams because of the lack of elite women's sides in the area.

Lauren has played for England at U16 level. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It sort of makes me a better player because it tests your physical side and become stronger and your fitness gets better, due to this.

"Decision making, you have to play at a faster pace so it's a lot harder and you get used to that.

"So when you go to the England camps it gets you in the environment better"

– Lauren Hemp, England U16 footballer
Lauren Hemp says playing with the boys makes you stronger and your fitness gets better. Credit: ITV News Anglia

With the closure of Norfolk's Centre of Excellence Lauren has gone back to grassroots playing at the weekend.

Although she still trains with the boys elite at Norwich City.

Lauren Hemp could become a star of women's football in the future. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I think in the early ages the lads were a little bit standoffish - there's a girl playing, it's just a natural thing. But now they really respect here.

"The team mates are a very good bunch of lads and the opposition know within three or four minutes what they're up against"

– Alan Wardle, Alan Wardle Manager, North Walsham Under-16s

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Kate Prout

When she's finished her GCSEs, Lauren is planning to attend college in Bristol where she can play Women's Super League football.

While she keeps her eye on the ball, ITV News Anglia be keeping an eye on her career.

Some of the sporting trophies Lauren has amassed over the years. Credit: ITV News Anglia