Beth Mead - England
I’m Beth Mead, a pro footballer for Arsenal women and England women. I played football for Middlesbrough COE (Centre Of Excellence) from the age of 10 to 16, when I moved on to Sunderland women’s team where I played for 5 years. Now I am at Arsenal women’s team playing in the WSL.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with any of the photos?
I wanted to show that we actually are a normal team that loves what we do! The photos were taken at the Arsenal training ground featuring my teammates Jordan Nobbs, Vivianne Miedema, Danielle van de Donk, Katie McCabe, and Leah Williamson.
One photo shows Leah and Jordan limbering up before a hard training session with Arsenal Women. This is something we do every day before training so we are ready to attack the session. It represents the professionalism and I wanted to show people what is behind the players on the pitch and what we do that people don’t see. It was during Jordan’s rehab. Jordan is the ultimate pro. She wants the best for every single one of her teammates. And she was so proud when she found out both me and Leah were going to a World Cup. It shows what an amazing human being she is. She is someone I look up to every day!
What is your favourite photo? Why?
My favourite photo is actually of our boot room, it’s a little shed we keep our boots in but when you look in the room is filled with a lot of goals and assists - and some nice looking boots. The boot room picture shows how humble we are in the women’s game. We don’t need big flash things.
What has been your football journey up until now?
I first started playing when I was 6 at my local village Hinderwell on a Saturday morning with all the boys. Sacrifices for me growing up were missing out on friends parties and nights with my friends - I hated missing out but it all feels worth it now. Best memories are definitely representing my country and winning the WSL this season with Arsenal. I’ve been lucky enough not to have many bad memories in football. Touch wood.
What are the biggest changes happening at the moment in women's football?
The coverage and interest in the game is growing, at least every week now during the season a game is televised on a world stage for people to see.
What does football mean to you? Do you have a message for the next generation of young female footballers
Football is my life, it’s my passion and I’m the luckiest girl in the world to call it my job. My message would be: work hard, nothing is given to you, believe in your ability and enjoy every minute or it will pass you by.
What is the future for English women's football?
The English league is going to be the best league in the world. It’s now a full time professional league, big teams are involved, it’s competitive, and world-class players from all over the world want to play here.These days there are such amazing opportunities for young female footballers at any level. Whether it is a local club team or development pathways such as RTC’s (Regional Talent Clubs).
What do you expect to change after the 2019 WWC?
I hope we inspire a nation make them proud and the women’s game goes to the next level.
What does your family think of your job as a professional soccer player?
They are happy my dream has come true, they put so much time and effort into me growing up and they are happy to see my hard work pay off.
What’s one thing you always do before a game?
I’m not superstitious at all. As long as I’m focused and have got my boots on the right feet I’m always ready to go!