Lauren Hemp: Top clubs will want Bristol City Women striker, says boss Willie Kirk

Media playback is not supported on this device

Women's Super League: Lauren Hemp's fantastic finish & other great WSL goals

Bristol City Women boss Willie Kirk has predicted that striker Lauren Hemp will have offers "from every club in the league" when she turns 18 in August.

Hemp, the PFA Women's Young Player of the Year, is the Vixens' top scorer, with five WSL 1 goals this term.

"We're realistic. We want her to move to a big club because it looks good for us," Kirk told BBC Radio Bristol.

"We don't want her to be at Bristol City for the long term because if she is, somebody's not done their job."

Former Norwich player Hemp won England's Young Player of the Year award in 2017 after impressing at Under-19 level, where she has four goals in seven games this season.

She has scored seven times in 19 appearances in all competitions this season for Bristol City, who are second-bottom in the top flight.

"We're not naïve about it. Lauren will have an offer from every club in the league, probably, come her 18th birthday," added Kirk.

"It's just when it's right for her and us. The challenge for us is to convince her that it's the best place to be for the short term."

'A proud moment'

Former Hibernian boss Kirk, who led Bristol City back to the top flight with promotion in 2016, continued: "She is probably the quickest player in the league.

"She's become a real focal point of our team. The way other team's line up against us now is to try to nullify Lauren.

"A lot of them have started doubling up down one side, they play a little bit deeper."

On the PFA Young women's player of the year award - won by a Bristol City player in Hemp for the first time - Kirk added: "It was a very proud moment for myself, the club and Lauren's parents.

"The vast majority [of her success] has come through Lauren's own desire, but just playing a small part makes the job worth it.

"She is great to work with. She is desperate to learn every day.

"Another season at Bristol City will be the best thing for her, maybe another two. Long term, she could potentially be world class."

Speaking of her award, Hemp, who is studying for a BTEC in Sport alongside training with the club, said: "I was shocked. It was very surprising for me.

"It was all quite overwhelming really. I've never really been to something like that before so it was all quite new to me.

"I didn't realise my full potential until I came to Bristol City. I just want to be on the pitch playing and doing what I love every day."

You can now add WSL 1 notifications for line-ups, goals, kick-off, half-time and results in the BBC Sport app. Visit this page to find out how to sign-up.

Top Stories