A positive role model for the younger generation | Kayleigh Green
Why and when did you start playing football?
I first started playing football when I was around 9 years of age. I played for my school team, which was a boys’ team, as there weren’t many girls’ teams around then. I got into football because my dad, me and my youngest brother loved watching and playing, and our favourite team was Manchester United.
What strengths do you need to reach the elite level in football?
I would say you need to be physically fit; the speed of the game now is at a high tempo and very demanding. As elite players we do a lot more work off the pitch, such as strength & conditioning, nutrition/recovery and tactical analysis. You also need to be mentally tough, to play at the elite level you must be prepared for different challenges and pressures.
What’s it like playing for Brighton?
Playing for a Brighton is a fantastic opportunity. The club have such big ambitions for the women’s game, and they make you feel an equal part of the club. As a player we have fantastic facilities and resources that are made available to us. Having an opportunity to play under a manager with such experience is a great motivation to also be at a club like Brighton.
What’s it like to represent your country?
To be selected to play for my country is always a great honour. When ever I put a Wales shirt on, I am always very passionate and proud to wear it. It always makes me feel nervous before an international game, because you always want to do your country proud.
What’s your best football memory?
My best football memory was when I won the WSL 2 league with Yeovil Town Ladies. That memory and feeling is something I will never forget, a small club like Yeovil winning promotion to the topflight was a massive achievement for myself and the club.
What’s been your experience of brand sponsors in football – for your teams and personally?
I feel there isn’t much opportunity for women football players to be connected with brands or sponsors. I personally have experienced that if you don’t have many social media followers you have less of an opportunity to gain sponsorship.
How important is social media to today’s women footballers?
Social media is a massive part of promoting the women’s game. The use of social media helps to gauge interest of the public and promotes you as a player but also teams.
How important is it to you to be a role model for the next generation?
Throughout my career, I have always wanted to be a positive role model for the younger generation. I hope that my football career aspires other women and girls to become the best athlete they can. Alongside football I will always stress the importance of education/development.
How has the season ending early affected you?
With the season coming to an end the way it did, of course as an athlete you always want to complete the season. At the start of lock down it was very challenging for a professional team player. Training alone, not knowing when and if it would restart was difficult to manage motivation.
How have you coped since the lockdown began? Are you back to training now?
At the start of lock down it was difficult, training alone, trying to motivate and push yourself was hard when your used to being in a team environment. Throughout the lockdown I continuously trained so I was ready and in the best shape, if we got called back in. When the season got cancelled, we had a period of time off to rest and we started my off-season program last week.
If there’s one thing you could change about the sport what would it be and why?
As a female footballer it would be nice to have the all-around respect that the men receive in the game. There are more female players with media opportunities which is great to see but I feel there could be more. Women’s football has grown massively over the last few years, but it would be great to see more women’s coverage on the TV.
What other sports do you follow?
I do like to watch rugby union and I follow Wales. I like watching tennis, mainly Wimbledon and I like the odd American football game.
What are your plans after football?
I don’t have a set job I want to do. I would like to stay with sport as I have a passion for football. I have done my B licence coaching badge and would like to complete my A badges as well. I am a fully qualified sport masseur which I am trying to do along side football, which I would still like to continue in the future. I also have a massive interest in trade, so I completed my Level 1 Plumbing and want to return and do my level 2 this year.
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