My name is Andrea Worrall (Andie, Woz or Spider if you’re from Liverpool??) and I am 32 years of age. I have been playing football now for over 20 years.
My Dad played Sunday league football for around 12 years and then went onto manage a few pub teams. I pretty much stayed watching my dad and his teams till I was around 17 years of age. These were happy days, with some of my favourite times in football. My brother and I would challenge other kids to games or just play five and in (one of us would go in goal until the other scored 5).
I learnt to play football being around my brother and all his friends and used to go in goal just so I could wear my brother’s yellow Puma goalie gloves. I never at a young age played any football with girls and always played with boys much older than me - my brother Mark being four years my senior. My generation was never afforded the luxury of playing in a girls’ team and I never played a competitive match until the age of 11 years. I was never allowed to play for my junior school teams, despite being the best player, due to the fact of being female. I actually never wanted to play football with the girls as I felt that they would never be competitive enough for me.
My first team was Tameside MBC and I took part in the Greater Manchester youth games. A guy called Mike McGlian was the manager/ coach and was a great influence on my football career: a great coach and a great man. During the trials it was apparent that we had no goalkeeper and during one of the last sessions the question was asked, “Can anyone here play in goal?” I put my hand up and the rest, you can say, is history. I was, and still am, a frustrated striker.
I’ve gone on to play for Stockport Girls/Ladies, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City x 2, Leeds United and Stockport County. I have also played for Wales and I’m currently with Manchester City again. Being a huge Manchester City fan and season ticket holder, I would say City are the team closet to my heart and I do feel proud to wear the club’s colours. My team mates would probably refer to me as the biggest moaner, hard as nails and a general pain in the backside but with a big will to win.
Last season was Manchester City ladies’ most successful in terms of a league finish, where we finished third in the Northern Premier behind Sunderland and OOH Lincoln. Historically, Manchester City ladies have struggled in this league but last season strengthened and this showed in the third place finish. This season we have been trying to consolidate what we achieved last season but it has been a struggle with injuries and players leaving. There have been a couple of games where we have travelled away with only 12 players. Saying that, in one of the games, we were seconds away from getting a credible draw at Lincoln until Jodie Michalska popped a screamer in the top corner and the 2nd was a great 3-0 win at Leicester.
We are trying to emulate what we achieved last season but this will be difficult due to other teams improving and better teams coming into the league, such as Liverpool, who I feel are the best footballing side in our league and have a great footballing philosophy. I would be happy with a top four finish this year, with lots of clean sheets. We have some really talented players at the club who can go all the way if they apply themselves in the right manner.
The highlight of the season so far (football-wise), would be the five game unbeaten run we went on where we won five, conceded none and scored ten. The run ended when we lost at Preston 3-1 and we seem to have lost our way a little since then, culminating in a disappointing FA Women’s Cup exit to Leeds City Vixens. Hopefully, after the Christmas break, we can kick back on and win some games.
We train at Platt Lane which is where Manchester City’s academy is based. We get a couple of slots a week on a Wednesday night and a Friday between 8pm-10pm. As you can imagine this can be a bit of a nightmare and can spoil weekends if you fancied a drink at the weekend as both Friday and Saturday nights are out. Luckily we have a great bunch of players that just get on with it and make the most of the odd Fridays off during the season. This is just one of many sacrifices that we make to play for our club. I believe the highlight of the season, which I sadly missed, was our captain Charlotte Farrell (AKA The Tank) in a dress on the Christmas night out. I’m hoping a few pictures were taken!!
I feel that the summer league is just out of our reach at the moment, unless Manchester City are going to plough money into the women’s team, which could lead to an overhaul. At the present time we all pay a considerable amount of money to play for the club, I am one of the lucky few that was given money by one of my friends: Anthony Mahon from Manchester City Fan’s Forum ManCityFans.net. We have gathered a little bit of a following and interest on this forum and, in general, some of the fans from there do seem interested in women’s football.
The summer league will be good for the women’s game in this county and hopefully raise the profile and bring back some of the players that have moved to the states. I fully understand why these players made that move though and if I was 10 years younger would have done exactly the same. I think The FA needs to do as much as it can to raise the profile and get people interested.
Outside of football, I have career with Northwards Housing, managing staff, who in turn manage council tenants and their tenancies. I have a huge love for films that matches that of football with me owning close to 500 DVDs, I also like music as long as it’s not R&B and feel that I am the only female football player in the United Kingdom that hates the X Factor. I love to travel and would name the Maldives as my favourite holiday destination. I also try to follow Manchester City FC home and away as much as possible and hope to do this much more in the future when I retire from the game.
Neither are workable or likely at present but hypothetically, would you prefer a more strict salary cap in the FA WSL OR should centrally contracted England players (that receive salaries from The FA) be allocated more evenly around WSL1 clubs?