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Inside Story: Changing Leagues
Inside Story: Changing Leagues
Our 'Inside Story' series continues as we hear exclusively from two NGS clients about how moving leagues can impact a players career and life.
Most players dream of achieving promotion or signing for a new team in a higher league, but does this come with any pitfalls or strains to the everyday life of a footballer? Most players dread the thought of relegation, or signing for a team in a lower league, but can this be beneficial or even financially more viable for a footballer?
One of our most recent signings, Katy Morris signed for Coventry United at the start of this season ahead of their debut season in The Women's Championship. Katy was signed by Coventry United after leaving Chorley in The Women's National League Division 1 at the end of last season, meaning Katy jumped up two leagues to play in The Women's Championship.
Katy told us "I was absolutely thrilled when Coventry said they would like to sign me. They were new to the league themselves so it was bound to be an exciting and challenging first season but this was an opportunity I couldn't say no to." Just to put this move into perspective, Coventry United are based 120 miles away from Katy's home in Wigan which means that by signing for a team 2 leagues higher, Katy is now having to travel in excess of 700 miles per week for training and match days. Katy's NGS Representative added "If this doesn't show how much Katy wants to be a success in football then nothing does. This type of commitment and dedication often goes unnoticed. Not only that, but Katy's performances this season haven't shown any signs of tiredness or fatigue from the travelling. It's an ultimate professional attitude."
Katy went on to tell us "My work have been very accommodating with my football career. I've had to reduce my hours because it now takes me between 2.5-3 hours just to get there during the rush hour and then over 3 hours on the way home due to road works, closures and the 50mph zones on the M6, so some nights I don't get home until 1am. Then up again for work at 05:45 but I love it and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get where I want to be in football, it's what I love. I love and look forward to every session training with the team, it's definitely worth my travel as I'm learning so much and I'm part of a great group of girls."
Another NGS client Amy Goddard spent last season as a full time professional footballer at Yeovil Town in The Women's Super League before signing for Crystal Palace in The Women's Championship at the start of this season.
We asked Amy how her life differs this season from last season "My life surrounding football is very different this year. I studied Criminology full time last year meaning I was at University twice a week whilst studying in my spare time when I wasn't training. Now training part time at Crystal Palace means I have a lot more spare time on my hands. I did work as a Recruitment Consultant but that got a bit too much in the end with trying to balance a full time job with part time football. But being a family orientated person, the extra time does have its benefits as family time is very important to me." Amy's NGS Representative added "The transition from 'full time' to 'part time' can be extremely challenging both physically and mentally and it can take time for players to adapt especially during the transitional months but Amy has been fantastic on and off the pitch. We've kept in close contact with her so we knew at times the work/football balance was taking its toll but Amy's performances were never effected on the pitch as a result. Amy's mentality and drive to get back to full time football has been outstanding."
Amy went on to tell us about the standard of football in The Super League and The Championship by saying "I do think the standard is very different in both leagues, because as teams are full time there are better individual players. The Championship is more physical but The Super League is definitely more technical. It's also more demanding in the top league as you're playing against top international players."
Amy continued "Joining Palace was a very simple choice for me as I wanted to experience a new challenge. It has been amazing so far at Crystal Palace, the staff and the squad are all lovely. We're definitely improving and there is definitely a bright future for the club.
Both Amy & Katy said similar things when we asked about the standard of football between the leagues. Katy told us "It's small margins. Yes the quality of football improves (as you go higher), it's faster and has more attention to detail. The biggest difference is the speed of play and the movement of players."
In summary, changing leagues in women's football can come with both positives and negatives but these all depend on the personal circumstances of the player involved. Unfortunately, there are some players that simply can't financially afford to move up the leagues, and there are some players that simply need to drop down the leagues in order to be financially more comfortable.
Our Inside Story series are here to show women's sport in a different light and to show the real insight as to what goes on behind the scenes.
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