Range of role mod­els is a joy for Joelle

West Lothian Courier - - Courier View -

As a young­ster, Joelle Murray idolised both David Beck­ham and Julie Fleet­ing.

Hours spent watch­ing Manch­ester United star Becks and record Scot­land goalscorer Julie in ac­tion only made her more de­ter­mined to fol­low in their foot­steps.

Now the Hibs Ladies cap­tain is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to in­spire the next gen­er­a­tion of fe­male foot­ballers.

Joelle said: “Grow­ing up, I had a male hero and a fe­male one. I looked up to David Beck­ham, he played in the same po­si­tion and I wanted to be like him.

“In terms of a fe­male hero, prob­a­bly like most fe­male play­ers of my gen­er­a­tion, it was Julie Fleet­ing.

“She was a role model, and still is a role model, and she made great strides down south and in Amer­ica.”

Mid­fielder Joelle, 31, is the South East re­gion am­bas­sador for the Scot­tish FA’s Girls’ Soc­cer Cen­tres — pre­sented by spon­sors SSE — as well as be­ing man­ager of the Hibernian Girls Acad­emy.

She said: “Nowa­days, there are so many role mod­els across the coun­try for young girls, espe­cially now that the Soc­cer Cen­tres are up and run­ning in ev­ery re­gion.

“They are pretty much a first in­tro­duc­tion to foot­ball for young girls, who come along and play foot­ball in a fun and friendly en­vi­ron­ment with other girls who share a sim­i­lar in­ter­est in the game.

“I’m so proud to be in­volved be­cause, if what I’m do­ing can have even just a small im­pact on the next gen­er­a­tion com­ing through, that’s fan­tas­tic.

“There’s def­i­nitely is a lot more in­ter­est now in terms of the fe­male side of the game. When I started out, I was the only girl play­ing in the lo­cal boys’ teams. fi­nan­cial sup­port. With­out it, we wouldn’t be in the po­si­tion that we’re in now.”

The SSE Scot­tish Women’s Cup holds a spe­cial place in Joelle’s heart now that Hibs have won it for the last two years.

And this year’s fi­nal on Novem­ber 4 could be ex­tra spe­cial for one young fan too thanks to our bril­liant com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign the tro­phy.

The lucky win­ner will also en­joy hos­pi­tal­ity at the match and re­ceive £ 1000 worth of sports kit for their school.

Joelle added: “As play­ers, the Scot­tish Cup is some­thing you want to take part in and also win.

So, for a young boy or girl to have the chance to be in­volved in that ex­pe­ri­ence at such a young age through this com­pe­ti­tion is mas­sive.

“We’ve won the Scot­tish Cup two years in a row and we are hop­ing to make it a treble this year.

“It’s a jour­ney that ev­ery­one wants to go on and come out at the end with the win­ners’ medal and the tro­phy.”

Whole new ball game Joelle Murray

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