Former England Women captain Gill Coultard opened up on her experiences in her footballing career and how much the game has now changed. Coultard joined Doncaster Belles at just 13 and received her first England call-up at the age of 18. This was after she was told that she couldn’t play football in school. She became the England captain in 1991 and made 119 international appearances. In the process, Coultard became the first woman to earn more than 100 caps as an amateur in history.
“Joining Doncaster Belles was scary, when you think being 13 years of age and going into a trial where women were double your age and a lot older,” former England Women captain Gill Coultard said. “For the first couple of years, I was just working my way and trying to understand everything. Working out if it was for me and if I wanted to continue because at the age of 15 and 16 a lot of things come along in your life. But I just thought no, I want to play football and I want to play professionally.”
“I was told I was going to be made captain, which was great. For anybody to captain England, whether it be tiddlywinks, it doesn’t matter, you’re leading your nation out to battle,” she added. “Definitely. I’m a pioneer and there are pioneers before me who played for England, like Pat Chapman. We have all got to start off from somewhere, and unfortunately, everybody says to me ‘Your time was a little bit too early.’ But I have paved the way for somebody else. My era was something special. Encouraging players really. You’re always going to have somebody who has a bad game and it’s up to you to make sure that you try and get back into the game. I would like to think that I have played the way I have talked about the game and give one hundred and ten percent.”