Bianca St. Georges is light years away from the player she was when she was drafted by the Red Stars with the 20th overall win in 2019.
Apparently it has been two years since the West Virginia lawyer for Quebec was drafted. More importantly, however, are the mental and physical changes they invited to Canada’s upcoming national team training camp ahead of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup.
The changes she is hoping for will give her a key role in the Red Star schedule for 2021.
“In the beginning it was very difficult to build my self-confidence [of the 2020 season]”Said St. Georges.” Not only did I have problems with my individual performances, but the people around me were world class players. It was a lot of pressure for me to show up and prove I was worth being part of the team his. ”
Despite being drafted in 2019, the St. Georges rookie season began in 2020 after being pulled out of the race due to an injury. When she made her debut for the Red Stars it was with an intensity that matched her world-class teammates.
As she became more comfortable, her true style of play came into play. It’s a style she describes as risky and rewarding.
St. Georges proved her worth by starting all five games she appeared in during the Challenge Cup, getting a nearly 60% success rate in her tackles, and scoring a goal in the semifinals.
She continued to impress during the fall streak, improving her duel success rate to almost 74%.
Last year was an opportunity for the Red Stars to put young, inexperienced players on the field for a few minutes. It was a rare opportunity for coach Rory Dames to give them gaming experience without jeopardizing the team’s shot at winning an NWSL championship.
That year, St. Georges said all of that had changed. They bring in the chemistry they won from the Challenge Cup and Fall Series, but the focus has shifted from individual performance to team performance.
Some of the Red Stars players had a phone call this week about what the mentality should be like in 2021.
“This year we’re focusing on the team,” said St. Georges. “And after that, when you think about OK individually, you have to fix it for the team.”
St. Georges will report to the Red Star training camp on Monday before heading to the national team’s camp for two weeks from February 6th.
Her main priority at her first camp in the senior team is to prove her place on the field through steady contributions and persistence, while showing that she is trainable. She said if her teammates give her advice about her game, she plans to take it right away.
“Once people see that you can be trained and grow, that’s a big indicator that the player can go far,” said St. Georges.
St. Georges said it was difficult to strike a balance between the national team’s expectations, which the players individually exceed, and the Red Stars’ work ethic.
Dames has always encouraged his internationals to find stability between what their two teams need from them. St. Georges plans to tackle this act of juggling by remembering the basics as a defense attorney and not losing her confidence in the field. In the past, she thought her performance had to shock people to get noticed. Now she knows that simply playing soccer cleanly can help her stand out even more.
Still, that high risk, high reward attitude will always be a part of the game of St. Georges. It just learns to be more calculated with it.
“Consistency is something coaches really like,” said St. Georges. “Then if you do something unexpected, it is better to be good. High risk, high reward. “