Interview Lydia Huntley

Lydia Huntley

Personal Details

Club:
Plymouth Argyle WFC
Full Name:
Lydia Huntley
Nationality:
English
Date of Birth:
27-01-2000
Place of birth:
Ashford Kent
Position:
Defender
Shirt number:
6

Career

Gillingham LFC
Crystal Palace FC (Women)
Kent Schools
Plymouth Argyle WFC

Interview

Hello Lydia, introduce yourself…

Hi, my name is Lydia, I am 20 years old and currently in my second year at Exeter University Studying Exercise and Sports Science. I’ve played for Gillingham, Crystal Palace, Kent Schools and I am now at Plymouth playing in the defence.

What type of defender are you ?

I enjoy being an attacking defender as I love receiving the ball and taking it forwards. However, my favourite part of defending is 1v1s because I love the feeling of winning a challenge.

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

I didn’t really watch football on TV as I preferred to be outside playing football with my brother (even though he put me in goal and once broke my wrist when I was saving his shot). I loved going to watch Gillingham FC men’s matches with my family every season.

Lydia, could you tell us about your experience at youth football? And how did you experienced the youth competitions?

I began playing at my local village and school teams at 6 years old. I was the only girl in the teams so had to get used to comments from opposition players and dads sometimes. My managers suggested that I trial for Gillingham Girls Centre of Excellence at the age of 9. I played at the academy for 7 years.
I played for Kent Schools and the football was high standard. We reached the final of the U14s English Schools FA Cup playing in Reading’s Madejeski Stadium which was an amazing experience.

By Gillingham Ladies FC you played an exceptional season. And you was voted Players’ Player of the Season. Were you surprised by that award?

I was surprised to receive this award it was only my second season playing women’s football and there were a lot of experienced and talented players in the team. There was a great team spirit and I received a lot of support. During the season my manager changed my position from a right back to a centre back, which made a lot of difference as I was much more suited to this position.

On 19 September 2019, you signed a contract with Plymouth Argyle LFC. Did you noticed a lot of difference between these clubs?

The clubs were very similar in terms of the positive atmosphere. However, at Plymouth, in the season 2019/20 the standard was very high and competition for a place in the starting 11 was tougher. Coming to a new club the other side of the country where nobody knew me was very challenging, but it was important to stay positive and focus on my game.
The training at Crystal Palace was extremely professional and structured and I carry this attitude with me in every training session.
I’ve been lucky to have good coaches at all my clubs.

Lydia, what is the most important football lesson you have learned and who taught you that?

I think the most important lesson I have learnt is that you should always go into every training session and match with the desire to improve. Pete Sayer at Gillingham was a fantastic coach and made me feel comfortable asking questions and getting feedback.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever experienced in a match?

During an away match when playing for Crystal Palace, a tractor was suddenly driven on to the centre of the pitch. The game stopped for a while, then the tractor drove off an the match was restarted.

Lydia, what are your targets for this season?

Over lockdown I worked hard to get myself into the best shape I have ever been in so my targets for this season would be to continue to stay as fit as possible but also to focus on increasing m confidence to become more of a dominant player on the pitch.
We have a very young team at Plymouth this year and I would like to support the new players as much as possible and perform well in every match.

And what is your ambition in your football career?

I am aiming to play in the Championship after I have graduated form university, whilst hopefully becoming a paramedic or working in sports science.



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