SANDY MacIver is channelling her focus on the one thing that could her to make her debut for the England Lionesses football team on Tuesday.

The Winsford-born Everton goalkeeper, a former student at Weaverham High School, is in camp with the first England women's squad that hs been chosen by interim manager Hege Riise, preparing for the friendly with Northern Ireland at St George's Park in Staffordshire.

MacIver, 22, said she would love to get the nod but knows she has a job on her hands among three shot-stoppers who are all inexperienced at senior international level but have sights on making the Great Britain ranks for the Tokyo Olympics as well as England's group for the home UEFA Women's EURO next summer.

"I think playing for your country at senior level is the pinnacle of football," she said at the Lionesses press conference going into the five-day camp this week.

"But that for me is something that's out of my control. And so the priority for me is to just train well.

"I think the fact that the No1 shirt is up for grabs is extra motivation in itself, but having said that there's three good goalkeepers in this camp and so it's not just going to be given to anyone."

Her rivals for the shirt on Tuesday are Birmingham City's Hannah Hampton and Manchester City's Ellie Roebuck.

"I've worked with Ellie for a number of years in the youth age groups and I'm just starting to work with Hannah now," said MacIver.

"I think the fact that we all get on so well off the pitch really helps us in training sessions and how we work on the pitch.

"We're lucky in the fact that we do get on so well so there's no animosity. It's a really exciting group to be a part of."

MacIver shot to a higher level of prominence when she won the player-of-the-match award in the narrow FA Cup Final loss to Manchester City at Wembley in November.

Her route to the senior England squad has been different to most.

MacIver actually started out as a striker.

She started playing for a boys club when she was six, before progressing to the Crewe Alexandra academy.

There she had her first taste of playing in goal, before getting through trials at Everton and later switching to Manchester City before moving to the USA to study in 2016.

She previously revealed: “I played for a while in the Crewe Alexandra academy and in my last year there we needed some goalkeeping cover – so I played in one of the games and I wasn’t that bad.

“At the end of that season I had to try and find a new club so I was trialling as a keeper, which in hindsight was probably a bit of a risk, and Everton picked me up.

“I played there for four years and then played one more year at Manchester City before I moved to the USA.”

MacIver accepted a scholarship to play for the Clemson University college team in South Carolina.

There she quickly established herself as the number-one keeper for the Tigers but was still making frequent trips back home as she worked her way up the England development teams.

Upon graduation MacIver was offered a contract by former club Everton and made her professional debut for the Toffees in a 3-1 Women’s Super League win over Reading in January 2020.

"Going to America helped me to mature not only as a goalkeeper but as a person, being away so far from home for the first time," she said in this week's press conference.

"I was fortunate in the league I was in that it was so competitive. It's an opportunity I'll never regret taking.

"I think at Clemson as well the athletes community was so tight knit, I've got friends who play in the NFL and are on the PGA Tour, and when you have that support from players who are in an even bigger spotlight than you are I think that helps you grow and learn."

She has been part of the England set-up since youth level and has caps at under 17s, under 19s, under 20s and under 21s level.

She was part of the England squad that won the bronze medal in the 2018 Under 20s World Cup in France, and was awarded the Golden Glove as the tournament's best goalkeeper.

MacIver was named in the England senior team's travelling party during the 2019 SheBelieves Cup and trained with the team during the tournament but was not part of the playing squad.