Fylde Ladies FC
Danielle Young ©
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Manchester City WFC
Everton Women FC
Fylde Ladies FC
How important is it for you, that women’s football is now more popular?
It’s huge, the game is growing constantly and over the past 5/6 years it has progressed enormously In England and to be part of that major growth makes me very proud.
How do you prepare for an (important) match? (music, rituals, etc.)
We play our games on a Sunday so I always watch MOTD in bed on a Saturday night, I like to wake up get into my tracksuit and prepare my bag first, I will always then sit at the table for my breakfast (potato waffles, two poached eggs and avocado) then I will always grab a coffee on my way to the game.
Danielle, you spent much of your career at Manchester City, from your teenage years until 2014. How did you experienced the youth competencies?
I joined Manchester City at 14 years old I became the longest serving player before my contract ended at 23. I skipped the development level and played with the first team, when I was 16 I found myself playing Saturday for the U16s and coming off the bench Sunday for the first team, for me this was massive in terms of developing as I learnt the tough game first from a group of very talented women and I wasn’t spoon fed.. I understand the development nowadays is different but that toughness, that’s a trait I have taken into my career and is something I like to think sets me apart from other players.
You was part of City’s team in your first year as a professional, in the 2014 season when they joined the FA WSL. Did you noticed a lot of difference between the youth and the FA WSL ?
We instantly signed four of the best English players, so immediately standards risen. We knew that to compete there were huge changes to be made, the management had to do a player selection only 18 spaces were up for grabs and luckily I was one of them. Cush (Nick Cushing) came in as coach and it wasn’t long before he took over as manager, our nutrition changed completely, It became a second job I was learning things that I had never ever thought of, these were also things off the field so before even stepping foot on the pitch i had huge changes.
After one your time by Manchester City, you signed by WSL 2 side Everton, but you made only three appearances before opting to take a break from football. Why did you take a break from football ?
I couldn’t get my football and work life in tack, at the time I had a full time job and I was a part time footballer, the pressure was effecting me and it gradually got worse. I was leaving my home at 8am and getting back in at 11pm it wasn’t good for me or my mentality it was effecting my performance at football and work and I simply fell out of love with the game, I was struggling and I ultimately had to make the decision, I had to follow my career that was paying my bills.
In 2016 you returned and signed for Fylde, playing in the FA Women’s National League. What was it like to be back at a football club?
It wasn’t planned I was at work when Luke (Luke Swindlehurst) called me, he was my coach a few years before at Manchester City and was now the manager at Preston, at first I was adamant I wasn’t ready but he didn’t give up on me, he made me realise that I had way too much to offer and it was wasted not playing. He gave me no ties and he promised he’d hold my hand back into the game. He stuck to his word and he got me back smiling, looking back he was a huge influence in getting me back on track playing a game that has been such a huge part of my life, I cannot thank him enough.
What were your highs and lows during your football career?
High has to be winning the Continental cup, it really couldn’t be anything else, the whole trip was unbelievable, we were treated like full time professional footballers and it was never in doubt we were not winning, Everyone one of us believed we were winning that game. We then partied for three days!
The lowest would be the day I quit Everton. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it, I remember turning up to train and I called the manager aside and said I can’t do it anymore, I got straight back in my car and left, that was it. I cried a lot on my way home although I felt a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, I had been driven to quit something I used to live and breathe every day.
Danielle, what are your personal goals for the rest of this season?
To impose as much influence on my teammates as possible and continue to be a leader that the girls look up to, I want the team to finish stronger than we have started the season and I want us to improve our stats and then we will finish in the highest possible position in the league. If that happens then my personal goal is achieved.
What would you like to do after your football career ?
I have a very good career away from football at the moment so I hope to focus on that a little more. I will use my spare time to study sports therapy which I have always wanted to do but never had the time to pursue. Other than that I’d like to start a family and start the football journey all over again… only this time watching 🙂