Pre-Match Report

WSL: Birmingham City v Arsenal - Preview

For many teenagers, the chance to be able to play alongside your footballing idol is a distant dream. But for Vyan Sampson, that dream has very much become a reality.

The England Under-19 defender was called up to the Arsenal Ladies first team towards the end of the 2014 Women’s Super League season and made her first start against Everton.

Sampson has since been training with Pedro Martinez Losa’s squad regularly but there is one player who stands out above the rest for the 19-year-old.

"She’s always there to help and if you have any questions you know you can go to her with them any time of the day"

Vyan Sampson

“When I was about 10 I was a mascot for one of the England games against Holland,” she told Arsenal.com. “I was standing there as a little kid thinking, ‘Please let me get Rachel Yankey, please let me get Rachel Yankey’ and now I’m in the same team as her. It’s brilliant.

“She helps me in every training session and just by watching her you know what you need to introduce into your game. She’s always there to help and if you have any questions you know you can go to her with them any time of the day.

“We have a lot of young players in our side but the older players have helped us a lot. Obviously for me, Rachel has helped, but all of our more experienced players make sure they look out for the younger ones.”

Sampson is set to miss Arsenal’s next game at Birmingham through injury, but she revealed that she is close to making a full recovery from her knee operation in March.

“I had a mobile meniscus so I had to get that stapled down and stitched back up,” she said. “Hopefully it shouldn’t happen again.

“I might be out for about two or three more weeks. Four months have gone now and I’m running again, so I should be kicking a ball very soon. Hopefully then I can get back fit and then be competing for my place in the team.”

Arsenal Ladies face Birmingham City Ladies at 6pm (UK time) on Sunday. You can follow live updates on the @ArsenalLadies Twitter feed from 5.55pm.

Vyan Sampson

Vyan Sampson

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