Position: Attacking midfield
I don’t think you’d ever imagine 75,000 people turning up for a women’s football match.
But during the Olympics that’s exactly what happened. To get selected for the team against Brazil was a fantastic experience. That day in Wembley was a dream come true, and it will always be something I look back on and see as the highlight of my career.
A lot of people seem to have an opinion on women’s football without even watching a game, but I haven’t come across anyone who’s really watched it and then had a negative comment. One person told me how their daughter dragged them along, but then next time he brought his son along too!
We’ve been back training at Finch Farm, Everton’s training ground since January 3rd. We’re training four times a week 8-10pm, and as well as that we have to fit in extra running sessions and three weights sessions.
I’m allowed to work up to 24 hours a week outside my football contract. During the season I’ll be based in Liverpool, but I also work for Gateshead Women’s Football Academy in Sunderland. A few of the girls are teachers, and it’s particularly difficult for them going on international duty because they can’t take two weeks off just like that. Then again, you’ve got examples like Eniola Aluko, who manages to be both an England international and a lawyer!
I always wanted to be outdoors, Mum always struggled to keep me inside. That kind of developed into a love for football, and I started playing for a boys’ team when I was about six or seven. But when I was eight or nine I couldn’t play with the boys anymore so I had to find a girls’ team.
When I got to senior school I was doing a lot of running as well. I won the mini London Marathon when I was 14, North of England championships… I remember one Sunday running a 1500m race in the morning and playing a cup final in the afternoon! I think I’d run myself into the ground trying to do both, I got glandular fever and realised I had to make a decision between the two.
But when I won a race, it never felt as good as winning a match with the team. I felt quite isolated running by myself. It’s that whole team experience, being able to share a win with all the other girls, which is such a great feeling.
I’ve been called Marouane Fellaini before. We’re both quite tall and play attacking midfield. I don’t mind being compared to him, he’s a fantastic player. I don’t have the mad hair to match, but who knows, maybe if we win on Saturday that might change!