Portsmouth FC Women
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Brighton & Hove Albion Women
Portsmouth FC Women
Tell us little about yourself… (Who are you?)
I am 23, a central midfield player for Portsmouth who works in Recruitment full time along side playing football.
What are your specific qualities as a football player?
I like to try and get on the ball as much as possible, in the number 4 role I try to dictate play where I can, keep things ticking over, switching play in possession but break up play and help the back line as much as possible out of possession. Communication and leadership as well is fairly natural to be in keeping everyone motivated.
How do you prepare for an (important) competition? (music, rituals, etc.)
I don’t have to many rituals actually, unlike some people! I eat scrambled egg on toast with avocado before every game without fail but the main thing is that myself and one of my teammates have a warm up ritual that we have to do before every game otherwise it just isn’t the same! I have to high five the back line and midfield partner before kick off otherwise I don’t feel ready!
Your football career started at Brighton. How did you get into the youth of Brighton & Hove Albion WFC ? And who helped you the most?
I was really lucky to be scouted from Marle Place and invited along to trial for the club, we had a really successful season and someone must of put in a good word so that a lady (Michelle Lawrence) came down to watch us play. My dad helped me so much throughout my earlier years of football and I wouldn’t be playing now if it wasn’t for him but in terms of staff at Brighton I couldn’t name just one, in my early years I had so many coaches who believed in me.. Michelle, DJ, Sam to name just a few.
You came from the youth of Brighton & Hove Albion WFC. Did you noticed a lot of difference between the youth and the first team ?
Of course there was a huge difference in terms of the pace of the game, physicality and required fitness levels so this was something that I had to adapt to but not in terms of expectation or style of play because from a young age the same style of play, high expectations and tactics were implemented to try and make the transition slightly easier.
After seven years at Brighton, you moved to Portsmouth FC. Did you noticed a lot of difference between the two clubs ?
For me I noticed a huge difference and enjoyment was a massive part of that. I left Brighton mainly to go travelling but it was also because I had lost my love of the game, there was a lot of changes within the club that made the environment very different to when I started. Coming to Portsmouth was definitely the best decision for me, I got my passion for the sport back, have a good relationship with Jay (manager) and have been given more freedom in terms of my personal role in the team but also with outside factors as they understand that work commitments sometimes have to come first. In terms of facilities and equipment etc, Brighton at the time had just moved into the new training ground that was built in lancing and with the AMEX so of course then moving to Portsmouth it was a massive change as we don’t even train in the same facility as the men’s team for example.
Danielle, what were your highs and lows during your football career?
The main football high for myself was captaining the Brighton development squad team that won the league and in the same year I was involved in the first team and more specifically the play off game that saw the first team winning Promotion into WSL. My biggest career low was after being scouted for Brighton I originally didn’t get selected which really knocked my confidence so I then had to re trial and luckily I was then given a chance.
What is the one change you’d like to see in the women’s game over the next 10 years?
The biggest change I would like to see is greater opportunity in general – more tv coverage at the top level and at lower levels, more help in the promotion of the ‘once club’ feel from men’s team to help in terms of playing in their stadiums a few times a season to get the fans in. I personally don’t believe in equal pay between men and women because it’s not realistic due to ticket sales etc but in leagues like the one I play in with Portsmouth now, it’s the 3rd tier and we need more flexibility and some kind of salary would go a long way to be able to assist with travel costs and fitting football commitments around work life.
What is your ultimate dream for your football career ?
My ultimate dream is just to play as high as possible, I love Portsmouth as a club so I would love to see how far we could go as a team.
And Danielle, what are your personal goals for the rest of this season?
I don’t so much have personal goals for the rest of the season other than just do as best as I can due to the situation we find ourselves in as a club, we’ve got a huge back log of games so my main real aim is to help the team as much as possible get through a tough times in terms of fixtures and we’ve got 2 cup finals coming up so of course we have to aim to win both of those.