First team Friday
England goalkeeper Mary Earps says being part of her first football team helped increase her confidence at school.
The Lionesses stopper joined West Bridgford Colts in Nottinghamshire when she was 10 and spent three years wearing their gold goalkeeper kit.
“I loved it,” said Mary. “I think everyone loves their first team. I’ve always played in goal and this was the first time I was part of a proper team. And I loved my jersey because it was shiny.
“All the girls in the team were friends, the parents were friends and we’d go round to each others’ houses.”
She continued: “Football really helped me at school. It helped me communicate with people better and gave me the confidence to disagree with people if we were having a debate in class.
“Sport is great like that. It gives you drive and ambition. The way I am is shaped by my sporting background. It helps you make friends, it teaches you lessons and how to interact with people.
“You get to meet people from all kinds of backgrounds, too, which is brilliant."
Would you like to follow in Mary’s footsteps and join a team? Then find a club near you!