SANDY MacIver has spoken of her rise to England Lionesses level as a goalkeeper.

It is a fine achievement for a footballer who started out as a striker.

The 21-year-old Everton shot-stopper, who hails from Winsford, was a member of Phil Neville’s squad in the SheBelieves Cup in America last month.

She also featured in the senior squad for last summer’s friendlies, but awaits being handed her debut at the top level of international football.

Sandy was, however, part of the England under 20s squad that claimed bronze at the 2018 World Cup

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.

“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,” she said.

“At the end of that season I had to try and find a new club so I was trialing 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 back in January.

“I loved my time over in America – they focus a lot on fitness and strength over there – which I definitely think is going to help me develop my game further, especially being a keeper,” she added.

“There was a lot of flying backwards and forwards while I was playing in the youth set-up and I’ve racked up a lot of air miles but it was all worthwhile for sure.”