Interview Olivia Cook

OLIVIA COOK

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Personal Details

Club:
Nottingham Forest WFC
Full Name:
Olivia Cook
Nationality:
English
Date of Birth:
10-01-2001
Place of birth:
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Position:
Centre-Back
Shirt number:
6

Career

2006-2010
Killinghall Nomads JFC (grassroots)
2010-2017
Leeds United RTC
2017-2019
Doncaster Belles LFC
2019-
Nottingham Forest WFC

Interview

Hi Olivia, introduce yourself…

Hi, I’m Liv a 19 year old uni student and footballer for Nottingham Forest Women. I’ve been playing football since I was 5 years old, and have loved every second!!

What type of defender are you ?

As a centre-back I have to have the aggressive edge to my game- I love putting in a big challenge when its needed!! But, I would say that I’m maybe more of a technical player, when i was little I played midfield and I think that ‘get the ball down and play’ mentality is something that permeates my game at times.

Who was the player, or players, you looked up to most growing up, and why?

Honestly, when I was younger the Women’s game wasn’t televised or promoted as much as it should’ve been so I probably looked towards male role models more. People like Johnny Howson and Becchio at Leeds were always people I looked up to because they could change a game in moments. They say you can’t have a one man team and that is true, but players that had the ability to effect the game with their presence were always people I admired.

How do you prepare for an (important) competition? (music, rituals, etc.)

I’ve never really been someone with specific rituals per se. I like to have my beans on toast and a cup of tea in the morning. I like to have the music blasting in the changing rooms beforehand, I think I have walts (Sophie Walton) and G (Georgia Hewitt) to thank for that!! Once I’m on the pitch, the huddle is everything I need to get me focused on my job in the match ahead.

Last season you signed for Nottingham Forrest FC. Why did you choose for Nottingham ?

I had been told about the club by one of the other girls that moved here and when our GM at the time, Lee, got in touch and explained the plans they had and what the club was about I was really impressed. It wasn’t just the material propositions they’d made about what the club had to offer in terms of resources and coaching (which were all excellent), it was their ambition. They wanted to win, they were there to compete not just participate.

Olivia on may 2020 you was named as one of the two Young Players of the Season on Saturday evening. After you enjoyed a fine debut season for Nottingham Forest Women. How important was that moment for you ?

Thank you, first of all.
I was really quite shocked, but obviously that moment was special to me. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved since coming to the club and I was incredibly grateful my efforts had been recognised. There’s an abundance of young talent at our club and I’m just honoured to be a part of that. It was made all the more special by receiving it alongside my good mate Bex Raynor, who has time and time again proved her class for us this season.

What were your highs and lows during your football career?

Every club I’ve been at has afforded me with the most incredible highs, but I would be hard pressed to find one better than my England debut. It is the ultimate achievement for everything i had committed to football at that point, and such an honour to be considered amongst some unbelievably talented players.

I’ve also been very fortunate to have experienced few lows. I guess after financial difficulty at Donny we were relegated and many of the players moved on so we were left with a really young squad. It took us half a season of suffering bad defeats every week to rebuild and get back on our feet and that was tough. But even then, so many positives came from that which developed me as a player.

What is the one change you’d like to see in the women’s game over the next 5 years?

People are waking up to the potential in Women’s football and thank fully support it starting to come in, especially in the top leagues. Unfortunately, it’s taking it’s time to filter down into the lower leagues and as we’ve seen on so many occasions, clubs have been forced to fold and players have dropped out of the game. I would love to see the support and infrastructure that is starting to be introduced in the top leagues, replicated in the lower leagues in order to expand the reach and participation of the Women’s game.

Olivia, what are your personal goals for next season ?

Win the league and gain promotion, it’s as simple as that. As a player there are loads of little technical and physical goals I set myself that I want to try and achieve and develop as the season goes on. Ultimately though, my main goal is to be an integral part of the team that secures promotion into the Championship.

What is your ultimate dream in your football career ?

I think the ultimate dream for most female footballers is to get a full time professional contract at a top club and become part of the international set up. I share that same dream. I want to be able to play football for a living in ana environment I feel comfortable and happy in, but that pushes me to be the best player I can be.



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