Nicoline Sörensen is a Danish midfielder who put pen to paper with Everton FC ahead of the current season. Sörensen has also played in the Damallsvenskan in Sweden, both for FC Rosengård and Linköpings FC. She made her debut for Denmark's senior national team back in 2016 as a 19 year-old and was awarded “Talent of the Year” from the Danish Football Association's later that year.
The Dane’s strengths as a football player is her physique, Sörensen is strong in the 1 on 1 duels, and her abilities to create chances with crosses into the box has already proven to be important for Everton.
She joined the Merseyside team after having had two successful seasons with Bröndby IF back home in the Danish League, the Gjensidige Kvindeliga. Bröndby won the league title in 2019 and Sörensen was appointed as the “most valuable player” that season.
“I chose England because the WSL and the football that is being played here has developed massively the last few years. I signed with Everton because I feel that this is a fantastic club with a unique concept and set up that suited me as an individual. I wanted to become an Everton player because of Willie Kirk. He is without a doubt the best coach I have ever played for,” Sörensen said.
Several of Sörensen’s fellow compatriots such as Denmark captain Pernille Harder (Chelsea), Stine Larsen (Aston Villa) and Rikke Sevecke (Everton) have chosen the WSL as the place to be. They all came from different leagues around Europe but Sörensen, who joined from Scandinavian football has her own perspective on why England have attracted the Danish players;
“The biggest difference between Scandinavian and English football is of course the facilities and the conditions we are being given here. It’s nothing like at home and I am sure that this is one of the main reasons that have gotten us Danes to move here.”
Although there is a difference in playing styles it doesn’t seem to have bothered Sörensen much to change the Scandinavian lifestyle to the English way of living:
“I actually feel that it has been quite easy to adapt to my life here in England. I have learnt a lot about myself over the years so I guess I was prepared. But the biggest reason that I enjoy my life here so much is that the club and the girls in the team have been so welcoming and friendly.
"The hardest part has definitely been everything around Covid-19 and that I haven’t been able to see my family in three months. I miss them a lot.”
During the last international break Denmark managed to secure a spot in the Women’s European Championship 2022 in England after a 3-1 win against Italy. A great accomplishment since they missed out on the World Cup in France last summer. In the Euros 2017 Denmark surprised Europe by going all the way to the final, where they had to settle for the silver medal after 2-4 loss against the Netherlands.
Most of the players on the Danish national team are currently playing abroad and Sörensen thinks that it is good for the quality in Denmark even though she admits it’s hard for the league back home to keep up;
“We can look at this from two perspectives; in one way it’s a bit sad for the Gjensidige Kvindeliga that the national team players are playing abroad. But as a player I unfortunately feel that the development in Denmark is too slow. If you want to become one of the best players in the world you have to go to another bigger and better league."
“But if you look at it from another angle, on what it means for the quality in our national team. I only can think of positive things. Almost everyone in our squad is playing professional football around Europe today.
"We get the opportunity to play in big clubs with some of the best players in the world, and that can never be seen as a negative thing. We get the chance to develop, both as individuals but also as a team that will represent Denmark.”
Lessons learned so far
Sörensen made no secret of the fact that one of her toughest years in her career was her year in Linköping. Although, looking back on it is obvious that she has learned a lot about herself that she finds very useful today;
“I have always been very ambitious about my career. But what I wished for myself when I was younger, was that I could have been a bit more relaxed about it and not stressed around it. It is OK for things to take time. I learned so much about myself during my time in Sweden.
"What life as a professional footballer has taught me is that it's okay to be bored sometimes, that it's okay to just relax without having a bad conscience and that recovery is one of the most important things. I did not prioritize that enough when I was younger, not as much as I do today.”
“Another thing I have really promised myself is that you should always go your own way and believe in yourself. What may be right for others is not necessarily right for you, and it's something I've really learned the hard way.
"You have to believe that you are the one that always knows what is best for yourself and you have to follow your instinct because if you make a decision based on what you think others think you should do. than you get to pay for it later. That can cost you a lot.”
Willie Kirk’s side has started the season strong and find themselves currently as fourth in the WSL table, two points ahead of Manchester City. The Toffees biggest accomplishment this fall is without a doubt their win over Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter final when they beat the London team 2-1 at Goodison Park in September. Three days later, Everton booked their place at Wembley in the final with a 3–0 victory away at Birmingham City.
“That was an amazing and fantastic experience all through and even though we ended up losing the final it is for sure one of the best and proudest moments in my career so far. Apart from the Euros 2017 with the national team.”
It is no rocket science to see and hear that Sörensen is very pleased with her life as a footballer in Liverpool at the moment. She looks forward to the rest of the season ahead and is both inspired and motivated to become a better player to help Everton to break new grounds;
“I have never been happier when it comes to football than I am right now. I am inspired by the fact that I can feel that I become better and better every day. I am very into details and I am thankful that the club and Willie Kirk is giving me the opportunity to explore myself and my abilities at a more deeper level. That I get to analyze and focus on the little things, motivates me so much at the moment.”
“My dream right now is to become the best version ever of myself, because if that happens, I don’t doubt for a second that I am going to become the best footballer that I myself possibly can be.”