Now it’s Wend it like Beck­ham...

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Joshua Richards

THIS sum­mer Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur midfielder Wendy Martin made her act­ing de­but but, rather than get stage fright, re­vealed she now feels more at home at Lon­don’s Phoenix Theatre than on the pitch.

Hit film Bend It Like Beck­ham has been adapted for the stage and, in or­der to put on a pro­duc­tion fit for the west end, Martin was ap­proached 12 months ago to sort the wheat from the chaff at the au­di­tion stage.

It was then re­vealed to the 33year-old that a pro­fes­sional would be re­quired to per­form in front of the 1,012-ca­pac­ity crowd each night and Martin jumped at the chance to sign up.

She shares act­ing du­ties with team-mate Shan­non Moloney, Amy Bradley from the de­vel­op­ment team and for­mer Spurs star Robyn McEvoy.

But, rather than be­ing a bag of nerves as she steps out of her com­fort zone, Martin loves her new oc­cu­pa­tion.

“I’ve never done any­thing like it. I can’t sing and I can’t dance, but I get more ner­vous when I go out on the pitch,” said the for­mer Chelsea star.

“I think it’s be­cause the whole cast and crew are so sup­port­ive. I love it. It’s com­pletely dif­fer­ent to any­thing I have ever done be­fore, ev­ery­one is very friendly.

“A year ago I got in­volved with the au­di­tions and then was work­ing along­side the chore­og­ra­pher on how to present football on a stage, work­ing on com­mon move­ments, etc.

“Once they started cast­ing they said there was a role for a pro­fes­sional and asked if I wanted to get in­volved.

“There are eight shows a week and four play­ers who ro­tate the role.

“I don’t have a speak­ing part, but I do a few touches and skills in a big open­ing scene and then pop up later and mime along.

“A few of the girls have learned some skills and have de­vel­oped a nice touch – they’ve been putting the prac­tice in.

“Some of them came to train with us at Hot­spur Way and I think they loved it.”

In Martin’s less com­fort­able sur­round­ings, Spurs have made an en­cour­ag­ing start to their cam­paign.

An un­beaten pre-sea­son, which in­cluded matches with Women’s Su­per League clubs Lon­don Bees and Ar­se­nal, has been fol­lowed by two wins from their open­ing three games in all com­pe­ti­tions.

This in­cluded a 2-1 win over QPR at their new home pitch at Cheshunt FC and Martin says the ul­ti­mate am­bi­tion is to achieve pro­mo­tion from the Premier League South­ern Di­vi­sion and reach the WSL.

“The club has been very sup­port­ive this sea­son and at the mo­ment things are go­ing well,” Martin added.

“It’s a bril­liant pitch at Cheshunt, which suits us be­cause we like to get the ball down and move it around quickly.

“We are look­ing to reach the WSL and we’re bring­ing in new staff to take on a more sci­en­tific ap­proach – mak­ing sure we do our pre-hab ac­tiv­i­ties, for ex­am­ple, and look­ing at small gains we can make to im­prove our per­for­mances.”

BLEND IT LIKE BECK­HAM: The cast in Tot­ten­ham white and the Spurs team in pur­ple PUTTING IN THE PRAT­ICE: Cast mem­ber Kirstie Skiv­ing­ton hits a free-kick un­der the watch­ful eye of Tot­ten­ham’s Nacer Chadli and Jan Ver­tonghen Insets: Wendy Martin, top, and BendItLikeBeck­ham stars Natalie Dew and Lau­ren Sa­muels, bot­tom

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