Interview: Kerys Harrop

Kerys Harrop is the longest serving player at Birmingham City Ladies FC, having come through the Centre of Excellence. Harrop has been in the senior squad since the launch of the FA Women’s Super League in 2011, going on to become runners up two years consecutively (2011/12). As well as this, Kerys formed part of the squad that became runners up of the Continental Cup in 2011 and 2012.

What inspired you to become a professional footballer?

When I was growing up there was only one real football idol that I had from the women’s game, and that was Kelly Smith. I was a central midfielder when I was younger so to have someone to look up to in the form of Kelly was definitely an inspiration for me to want to be a professional footballer. At the time she was the first English player to go out and play football professionally in America, so that was always an ambition of mine. I am now fortunate enough to be able to say I play football professionally in England

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

If you want to reach the top, work harder than everyone else. I adopted this motto from a young age and I would like to think it allowed me to get to some of the positions I have been fortunate to experience in my football career so far.

What is your proudest moment in football and why?

There are a few. Winning the FA Cup in 2012 with BCLFC was a huge highlight for me, as it was the first major trophy that had been won in the club’s history. Having played for BCLFC since I was 10, this was an extra special moment for me having been at the club for so long. Winning Gold in the World University Games representing Great Britain in 2013 is probably my second proudest moment. It was such an amazing experience, getting to be involved in a competition with so many athletes from many different sports and countries. It was like being at the Olympics, but for University students. Winning Gold and being able to say I am a World Champion is pretty cool. My proudest moment to date is winning the U19 European Championships in 2009 with England. We were the first England team on both the men’s and women’s side to win a major competition since the men won the 1966 World Cup. We played so well throughout the whole tournament and were deserved winners of the competition. Yet again it was another amazing experience!

If you could play against any team in any league in the world who would you play, in what stadium and why?

I would love to play against Olympique Lyon, as they are one of, if not, the best team in Europe. I would be interested to see how well I coped playing against Ada Hegerberg, who is a striker and was recently voted European player of the year. The stadium would have to be Wembley, as it has always been a dream of mine to play there. Hopefully I can make that dream a reality in the FA Cup this year!

What are your favourite pre and post-match meals?

Pre-match I always have beans on toast with a little bit of cheese sprinkled on top. Post-match I will always have a protein shake and then we usually get food put on for us after the game such as lasagne and garlic bread. I will then go home and have another meal later on in the evening.

What’s your favourite way to use pure Canadian maple syrup?

It has to be mixing it in with porridge to make the perfect breakfast that will set me up for a good day’s training!

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