Within a short few years, the Hartlepool United Women's team have gone from strength, making year on year progress. Not only is the game increasing in popularity, but its fair to say that the our own team is gaining support. Regular updates are treated with excitement amongst Poolies and wins with celebration. They finished the season with a big win in front of home supporters at the Super 6 Stadium, with a great crowd to roar them on.
There is no doubt that they are now part of the fabric of our fantastic club and we all look forward to what the coming years will bring for them.
Defender Kate Hampson kindly offered to talk to us on behalf of the team and let us into a few little secrets! Here is what she had to say....
Hi my names Kate Hampson and this is what I have to say about my team mates...
What are pre match routines?
Normally we turn up an hour and 15 minutes before kick-off, this gives us chance to get changed and warmed up but I believe it’s just to get all out chatting and messing around in the changing room with music blasting out the way lol. Once all that’s out the way we knuckle down and go into our warmup focused, I mean there is an odd joke or some banter flying around but it’s mainly directed at Bazzy (Sarah Bartlett) as she’s the one who usually bites the quickest.
Who are the dressing room characters and lead the banter?
Well, there’s a lot of characters! But when it comes to banter you’ve got the same few! Jussy, our captain, it’s always joking when the team sheet goes up, to either the usual starting 11 that are on the bench that day or Bazzy (even though she makes the start 11 every week) about how she’s playing. Lottie is a big character too but usually it’s in training, along with Lucy, they’re both quick witted and are guaranteed to make a joke if you get nutmegged, fall over or get hit hard with the ball. I get along with everyone though I love a good joke around, and this team is perfect for that.
Who's the biggest show off in the team?
Biggest show off… I’d have to give that to Jussy. Purely because of how technically good she is on the ball, she will never hold back in training. Literally no sympathy and she won’t let you forget it. Although Lucy would probably come a close second just because she’s loud and confident she doesn’t have a filter and she will never let an opportunity pass to crack a joke.
Who has got the worst fashion sense? Come on, be honest lol.
Okay… so Jo Hurrel would have to get my vote for that one, purely because of her willingness to wear the worst shirt possible for our presentation night. She’s always up for a laugh and doesn’t care one bit about embarrassing herself what a character! Although we went out after our game at the Super 6 stadium (The Vic) and we all got a shower and changed in the changing rooms. Then we all went to the bar in the stadium before going out in the Marina… Becca (Rebecca Smith) went for the full night out wearing her pools training shorts and T-shirt!
Tell us about playing on the hallowed turf at The Vic.
It was a dream! That’s all I can say, to have that many supporters, such a perfect day weather wise, and to smash our opponents was unbelievable. The atmosphere was immense in the warm up, changing room and on the pitch. To be able to play alongside such a talented group of ladies was such an experience and it’s made me very excited for next season. Ladies football is really taking off in the last few years and who’s to say that can’t be us playing on a stadium, like The Vic, in a few years’ time.
Expectations for next season?
Win the league, it’s as simple as that. My team is very capable of being promoted as we are favourite to go up. I expect nothing less as I know the standard of football we can play; we’ve strengthened our squad and look forward to preseason to work on areas and all individually improve. I know a lot of the team, including myself have already started work at the gym, prior to preseasons so it just goes to show our work ethics and determination to win this league.
How was the presentation night?
I always enjoy spending time outside of football with the team. They’re a funny group of ladies and presentation night was full of jokes and laughter. Our skipper (Justine) winning three awards is great to see as it shows not only our team but the reserves and U15 girls what we can strive for.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on the FIFA Women’s World cup?
I’ve got a countdown going on my phone for when it starts! I’m so excited to get behind England and show the rest of the world the talent, not only England, but ladies football has. This is great publicity for the ladies and I for one can’t wait to fill my days watching great football, with a cold water… not a pint of course lol!