We spoke to Aston Villa Ladies’ Amy West on winning the Player of the Season award, pushing pro teams and much more.
Interview by Regan Foy | @FindFoy
We spoke to Aston Villa Ladies’ star Amy West to discuss her season, the Ladies performances across the year and winning the ‘Player of the Season’ at the End of Year awards.
It has been a successful season for the Aston Villa Ladies after a relatively poor start – what do you put the improvements down to?
“With Gemma coming in before the beginning of the season, we always knew that it would take some time to settle and adapt to new ways of playing.
But the extra time put in by the staff and players both on and off the pitch meant we were able to learn quickly and put new strategies into practice.
I think it was quite evident to see that we grew in confidence and developed a tight knit bond amongst the group which lead us to a successful performance in the second half of the season.”
You’ve been with the club for over a decade and you’re an avid supporter of Aston Villa – what does it mean for you to be able to wear that shirt on a weekly basis?
“It gives me that extra bit of competitive edge and determination in everything I do.
To represent my club is exciting and something that I would never take for granted.”
Being a footballer comes with obvious advantages and disadvantages, what would you consider these to be?
“I think having to balance everything else in your life!
Women’s football is only just starting to become a full-time career, and I was very aware growing up that I wouldn’t be able to depend on playing football.
So, it means that we all have to either work full-time or be in full-time education alongside training each week, which can get hard at times.
But football gives you that break from everyday life to go and do something you love and enjoy doing.”
“To represent my club is exciting and something that I would never take for granted.”Amy West on playing for the club she supports.
Your peer Jodie Hutton was recently awarded a professional contract, do you see others following in her footsteps and is this perhaps the start of something at the Villa Ladies?
“Jodie has had a fantastic season and rightly deserves to have been rewarded with her first professional contract.
This gesture shows that the club are very keen to support us and it’s great to see.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”
Women’s football has had some record breaking attendances this year – as have the Villa Ladies. How does it feel to see the overall game grow, but also at a more local level?
“It’s great to hear that our attendances have improved by over 100%, and as a group we have definitely felt the difference on a game day.
It’s lovely to see that the game is growing and at a fast pace, and each season the coverage of women’s football gets better and better.
Increasing awareness will only keep growing the game, and we all have a responsibility to help do that.”
The Ladies performed incredibly well against full-time, professional outfit West Ham United in the FA Cup, and came agonisingly close to a semi-final game. Is this a sign of how far the side have come?
“I think the performance against West Ham showed that we are more than happy to compete with anyone and give it our best shot.
I thought we pushed West Ham and made it difficult for them to hold on and win the game.
We have worked really hard this season on both tactical and technical aspects of the game, and it was nice to see how much we had developed and improved as a team.”
How did it feel to be awarded the Ladies Player of the Season award, directly after holding now promoted side Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw?
“It was really exciting and a very proud moment to be awarded Ladies Player of the Season.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the awards because of the re-arranged tie against Spurs.
But it was nice to get on the scoresheet in that game, and was a really enjoyable game to play.
We wanted to make it as difficult for Spurs to get promoted as possible, and it was a close run game. We had a chance to snatch all three points at the end but it wasn’t to be.”
This season has seen you come on leaps and bounds personally – shown by your award win – what’s your next big objective?
“I think all the girls have been working really hard on their individual development this year, and it was clear to see with the performances the team had put out each week.
For me, I want to build on the confidence I have built up throughout this season and keep working on being the best player I can possibly be, to help get Aston Villa Ladies challenging for promotion at the top of the table.”
If you could add one more thing to your game, what would this be?
“I want to be scoring more goals. I’ll be wanting to improve on this years total next year!”