West Ham United Women’s defender, Hawa Cissoko was pleased to return to the French national team for their 2023 World Cup Qualifiers against Estonia and Kazakhstan during the international break.
The 24-year-old defender hadn’t received a call-up since September 2017 and enjoyed the experience of being back with Les Bleues.
“It was really good to be away with the team again,” Cissoko told whufc.com. “I’m not surprised that it was such a good experience because when I saw the list of the players that had been called up, I knew we had a good group.
“It was a super atmosphere with a good vibe. I realised that it was exactly like the last times I’ve been away with France, it was such a great atmosphere with lots of laughter every day.
France have made the perfect start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, winning all four of their games in Group I so far.
And Cissoko featured in their 5-0 thrashing of Kazakhstan and praised her West Ham United team-mates and coaches for helping her to get back into the National setup.
"We had two good wins during the break. We were confident from the start and the whole team had it in their heads that we were going to win.
“I made this bet with my brother and my agent that when I came to England with West Ham, if I played well and the team played well then I would be called up again – and we did it.
“When I say we, I mean myself, my brother and my agent, but also my team-mates and everyone here at West Ham.
“It’s the first thing I said to Olli [Harder] once I found out that I had been called up to the team. He said to me ‘congratulations’ and I said that it’s congratulations for the team and everyone at the club. I can be good, but if the team is not good, then it means nothing.”
And Cissoko now has her sights set on becoming a mainstay within the French team and hopes that her good form at club level, as well as the team’s solid start to the season will continue.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that I’m in the squad again at the end of November. A lot of people were really happy and proud of me for getting back in the team, but I don’t want that to be for just one game, I want to be back for the foreseeable future.”
Now that the break is over, Cissoko and her club team-mates now turn their attention to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League (WSL), where Olli Harder’s side will face off against table toppers Arsenal.
“The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, and Cissoko is looking forward to the challenge of facing another top side.
“The feeling that I get from this group here at West Ham is that we aren’t afraid of going up against these big teams anymore. That is something that Olli and his coaching team have instilled into us.
“Last year, we might have been worried about how tough the game was going to be, but our attitude as a squad has changed, as we saw against Manchester City when we beat them earlier in the season.
“We know that it won’t be an easy game, but as a group we’re confident we can come away with something from the game,” Cissoko concluded.
West Ham United Women face off against Arsenal at Boreham Wood's Meadow Park Stadium on Sunday 7 November, with kick-off scheduled for 6:45pm.
Tickets for the clash can be purchased by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can watch all the action live on Sky Sports Football.