Short couldn't turn down World Beach Games experience

London City Lionesses defender Hannah Short will be competing in beach soccer at the inaugural World Beach Games in Doha

LOSING your key centre-back is the last news any club would want to hear when trying to bounce back from a humiliating 6-0 league defeat.

But that’s the issue London City Lionesses are faced with this week after defender Hannah Short has opted to spend the next two weeks on beach soccer duty with Great Britain at the inaugural World Beach Games in Doha.

The Lionesses are hardly struggling in their debut season in the FA Women’s Championship, the club currently sitting in fifth, but their recent 6-0 loss away to Durham was perhaps a reality check of their actual chances of success in the division.

And if they want to stop leaking in goals, they would surely prefer it if their starting centre-back was available.

But for Short, who left Yeovil Town to join the newly-formed London City Lionesses this summer, the opportunity to represent Great Britain at the first multi-sports event of its kind was an offer she just simply could not refuse.

“It has been a huge year for me on a personal level,” she said.

“I quit my job in Bristol and moved over to Kent in the summer to play for London City Lionesses because I really wanted to grasp the experience of going professional in football, then I received the call-up for the World Beach Games.

“To represent Great Britain is a huge honour and achievement for me. I’ve represented England at the past at youth level but there’s something a bit more special about going away with Team GB – it’s probably my proudest career moment so far.”

Short is one of 21 athletes who will be representing Team GB in Doha as athletes from 97 countries from five continents come together for the first-ever World Beach Games, taking place in Doha from October 12-16.

Like most of the Team GB athletes selected, it is Short’s first opportunity to compete for her country at a multi-sport Games.

And while winning gold would cap off an incredible year for Short – something she would certainly show off on her return to the Lionesses in Kent – the defender knows this opportunity isn’t all about her own success.

“We’re going for gold, 100%, but my main focus is pushing the sport to the next level,” she added.

“Grass football is my number one sport – it’s what I’ve been doing for most of my life and I’m very lucky to have gone professional in the last two years. However with the rate women’s football is growing, I’d encourage girls to get involved in all types of the game.

“The World Cup has inspired a lot of people to get involved in women’s football so hopefully that will help push beach soccer to where it should be.

“We want beach soccer to be a part of the Olympic Games and I think the World Beach Games is a stepping stone for that.”

Short and Co. will be the first of Team GB to arrive in Doha as their tournament gets underway before the World Beach Games opening ceremony on Friday 11th October, the team set to play Paraguay, the United States and Russia in the group stages.

PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR - The inaugural World Beach Games take place in Doha from 12-16 October. Follow the team @TeamGB on social media and at TeamGB.com