Guernsey teenager Maya Le Tissier made her own slice of history during the SSE Women’s FA Cup final and claims the once-in-a-lifetime experience has inspired her to follow in the footsteps of her heroes.
Le Tissier, 14, became the first under-16 to present a major trophy at Wembley Stadium – handing the cup to Arsenal captain Alex Scott following the Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Chelsea.
The youngster is a budding footballer herself, becoming the first Guernsey girl to be picked for an England squad – having represented her country at under-15 level.
Her goal is to reach the SSE Women’s FA Cup final as a player one day and lift the trophy herself but admits she won’t be forgetting her first Wembley experience in a hurry.
“The experience was amazing, I’m lost for words to describe it – it was unbelievable and so good,” said Le Tissier, who benefits from being part of the SSE Next Generation scheme.
“I had never been to Wembley before so seeing the pitch was really special. It looked like a carpet, not even like grass.
“The atmosphere was amazing – the Chelsea and Arsenal fans were extremely loud.
“This is one of the top achievements of my career so far. It was brilliant and a real motivational boost seeing the players out there.
“It really made me want to play at Wembley and be a part of this in years to come.
“The players were so excited – I don’t think they could believe it themselves. You could see it in their eyes and when I gave them the trophy they were so excited.”
Former SSE Next Generation athlete Leah Williamson came off the bench for Arsenal while one of Le Tissier’s idols, Fara Williams, started in the heart of the Gunners midfield.
The Guernsey youngster began playing football aged four and, as she plots her course to the very top of the game, she acknowledges that watching her heroes serves as perfect inspiration.
“I follow Fara Williams quite closely and she is one of my biggest idols,” added Le Tissier.
“Seeing Leah Williamson here inspires me and shows how much SSE can do for players.
“Leah is an incredible player and playing in the Arsenal squad at age 19 is a great achievement.
“I’m really proud to be an SSE Next generation athlete. It will help me along the way and help me play at a high standard with the girls.
“Most of my funding will be spent on travel over here but it will also help pay for strength and conditioning in the off-season.”
SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen
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