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Rachel Furness: My dog is making sure I'll be in top form when Liverpool action returns

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Northern Ireland's Rachel Furness has scored four goals in four games since joining Liverpool.

Northern Ireland's Rachel Furness has scored four goals in four games since joining Liverpool.

Getty Images

Northern Ireland's Rachel Furness has scored four goals in four games since joining Liverpool.

It's fair to say Rachel Furness has been in excellent form this season.

Since her January move to Liverpool, the 31-year-old has already netted four goals in four games and was nominated for the club's Player of the Month award.

However, with football currently on hold due to the coronavirus crisis it was the perfect time to reflect on her career so far.

So far, Furness has netted 26 goals for Northern Ireland, including one last time out in the green jersey against Pinatar Cup winners Scotland.

"I’ve had a lot of great memories playing for Northern Ireland," she said, reflecting on her international highlights.

"I’d say a one that pops up is my first ever goal for the senior team. We played Slovakia at home in a qualifier and I was only 16 at the time.

"I was nervous but so excited for the game as I felt no pressure. I was a flying winger at the time and I remember setting up the first goal and scoring the second.

"We won the game 2-1 and it was the first time my mum had seen me play for Northern Ireland so it was an extra special moment."

Furness, who spent the first part of 2019-20 on loan at Tottenham from Reading before making the permanent move to Liverpool, has had no problem settling in on Merseyside.

"The highlight so far would be scoring the winner against Bristol City to get us the well deserved three points in January," she smiled.

Liverpool sit bottom of the Women's Super League but have certainly improved performances on the pitch since the arrival of the experienced midfielder.

If and when the season resumes, she's keen to be in tip top condition.

"During this period we have been lucky enough to get programmes and a lot of support from club," she said.

"I try and have a daily routine to keep myself in a good place both physically and mentally. On my daily outing to exercise I take my dog with me to give him a good run out.

"I go to an empty football field close to my home and do my session. My dog normally sets the pace and I end up chasing him.

"I have been challenging myself to find different ways to train having been limited with equipment.

"I am lucky enough I have a bike at home that I use on some days and I have been taking part in Joe Wick's PE lessons to mix up my training."

Furness, born in Sunderland, is eligible to represent Northern Ireland through her Belfast-born mum and credits the rest of her family for kick-starting her career.

"I have two older brothers and my dad was football mad," she said. "I just wanted to do what my brother did so I was the annoying little sister that wanted to join in and from then on I didn’t look back".

Furness has also had spells with Sunderland and Newcastle in addition to a short stint with Grindavik in Iceland back in 2010.

Rachel Furness' dream five-a-side team

Rachael Laws GK (Sunderland and Reading team-mate)

Jill Scott (Sunderland team-mate)

Rachel Furness

Beth Mead (Sunderland team-mate)

Victoria Greenwell (Sunderland team-mate)

Belfast Telegraph