Chelsea Women footballer Sophie Ingle revealed how playing with boys shaped her career as a footballer. While growing up there was no girl’s team in Wales so she had to play in a boy’s team until the age of 12. She had to take a break from football when the Football Association of Wales announced that girls could no longer play on boys’ teams.
“I spoke to a fan recently in Wales and she was the mother of a little girl and said she’s now gone to play for a girls team and she’s glad there are girls team available,” Chelsea footballer Sophie Ingle said. “It’s amazing because as a kid, I never had that. I loved playing with the boys and it did develop me into the player I am today, but for girls to get involved at a young age, there need to be girls’ teams. It’s nice to hear that there are a lot of teams now back home in Wales and here in England. Girls can feel comfortable going to training and just enjoy it to start with at a young age.”
“I think one of my strengths is trying to read the game. As a kid, playing against boys’ teams, probably helped me growing up. I had to think quicker, I had to try and be stronger against the boys and especially with mentality as well, to physically battle with them so I do think that helped,” she added. “I remember one of my teachers as a youngster said to my mum that I read the game really well. At the time, you don’t realize it because you’re just playing football as a kid, but in the role that I play in center-mid, you have to have that intelligence in the middle of the park.”