WSL Interviews Pt 2: Haynes, Moran And Lane

The big kick off for the FA Women’s Super League is just around the corner, with 20 teams competing across FA WSL1 and 2 in the new winter format.

Last week, key players from every club came together to meet the media at Wembley Stadium in London and we muscled our way in there too. You will probably have read all the really serious pre-season stories, but we figured it might be nice to ask the players about some silly stuff too. Here are our next few interviews, watch this space over the next few days for more…

Lauren Haynes, Oxford United

Lauren Haynes learnt her trade at Arsenal’s Centre of Excellence and went on to play for England at various youth levels. She has played for Bristol Academy, where she won the FA Youth Cup and played in WSL1. The centre-half joined Oxford from Aston Villa in 2016, impressing enough to be made captain in January this year.

Photo: oxfordunitedwfc.co.uk

SK: So how’s pre-season going Lauren?
LH: It’s been really strong, we’ve made about nine or 10 new signings this year so we’ve basically developed a whole new team so we’re just getting used to each other, how we play, but pre-season has been really good from our end.

SK: What’s been the hardest part so far?
LH: Definitely one of our strength and conditioning coach’s sessions, he’s put us through our paces on our sprints, you’re like on the verge of being sick in some of the sessions but it’s been really great for us to be working that hard and at that tempo.

SK: Anyone in particular looking good?
LH: Most of our players are but in particular you’ve got the likes of Kayleigh Hines, who we’ve just signed back from Reading and is looking sharper than ever, Dan Carlton as well and we’ve brought in Hannah Short and Steph Williams, they’re all looking really sharp this year.

SK: What is your squad number and why?
LH: No.4. I signed as a holding centre midfield player, but this year I’m playing centre half which is a more natural position for me. If I’m honest, I think I’d rather be No.8 because of Frank Lampard, but half of eight is four so I’ll take that.

SK: Bought new shinnys and boots?
LH: I’ve got some Adidas Blackouts, three pairs, and I’ve got a couple of pairs of Nike Tiempo Blackouts and then shin pads, I’ve got slide-ins which will last me the year hopefully.

SK: Are you hard on boots then?
LH: I just go through them, especially on 3G, it turfs them up quite a bit.

SK: Do you have an initiation for new players at Oxford?
LH: Yes, some sing-songs, acting and stuff like that. They’ve settled in really well this year and we’ve gelled really nicely so it’s a nice atmosphere on camp.

SK: It’s going to be a winter league, how will you stay warm?
LH: I’m not a big fan of thermals or anything, I like just shorts, t-shirt; some of the girls have topped up on their thermals this year, they’ve got the heat rub so they’re more than ready.

SK: When’s your favourite time to play a match?
LH: I love an evening game just because that’s when we usually train so I naturally like playing them. Sundays are obviously great but nothing beats a midweek game.

SK: Do you have a team huddle before a game?
LH: We actually call it a team cuddle, so just as we’re about to kick off, I’m like ‘Come on then, team cuddle’ and we’re all in, arms around each other, ‘1-2-3’ and it’s ‘Yellows’ and hands up in the air. To be honest, I don’t think about what I say in the team cuddle, it just comes out naturally and a lot of the stuff I don’t remember if I’m honest, but then other players will have input and it’ll be tactics, inspirational stuff and really it’s just stuff to get the girls fired up for the game.

SK: Can you hear the fans when you play and is there a song or chant you listen out for?
LH: I personally don’t hear a lot, I tend to block out a lot of outside stuff and focus on the game but we do have a little fanbase that like to sing Yellow songs and Oxford United songs which is amazing so if there’s a break in play you do hear that and it does get a massive buzz going.

SK: Who is last out of the changing rooms?
LH: Kayleigh Hines, she does a bun in her hair but it takes her probably about five attempts to get it right. Riva Casley as well, it takes her a little while to make sure her hair is right. After the match, Steph Williams and Ellis Hillman, both of them hogging the shower for ages.

SK: Who has the cheesiest taste in music?
LH: I would say Demi Lambourne, our goalkeeper, she has really hard R’n’B then she goes back to old school and just some woeful songs, she’s never the DJ basically.

SK: Who is the first asleep on the coach?
LH: Usually Ellie Noble, Sophie Baker, one of the younger ones. Usually it’s headphones on and they are flat out for the whole journey.

SK: Who always sits at the back?
LH: All the new signings, they’re all buzzing, you can’t shut them up!

SK: Who do you tip for the WSL2 title?
LH: I am struggling to predict this year with the teams making the signings they are. Obviously I’m going to back my own club, Donny are going to be strong this season, Spurs coming up are going to be extremely strong, Durham will do well I think.

 

Katy Moran, Aston Villa

Captain since 2016, centre midfielder Katy Moran is known at Villa as a players’ player, the kind who works her socks off for her team mates. Currently injured, the former Birmingham and Coventry player remains an ambassador for Villa, supporting the squad whenever possible. She hopes to make a return to full fitness before the season’s end.

Photo: ladies.avfc.co.uk

SK: How’s pre-season going Katy?
KM: Really well, everyone is working hard and we’re fine tuning now.

SK: What’s been the hardest part so far?
KM: Getting up the morning after doing the sprints. I’m injured at the minute but watching the girls do the sprints around the pitch is hard work, but you’ve got to keep them going and egg them on.

SK: What’s your injury?
KM: I’ve a slipped disc so I’m just waiting to get that fixed and I’ll be back on the pitch hopefully soon. I want to be back this season and that’s my aim.

SK: What is your squad number and why?
LM: It’s 14. I just got given it one season and I’ve stuck with it ever since. I like the number four, it wasn’t available so 14 stuck.

SK: When’s your favourite time to play a match?
KM: You just go with it. I do like a night game, there’s a nice zip on the grass and the floodlights, but I don’t really mind.

SK: Do you have a team huddle before a game?
KM: Yes we have a little chat, last few words before the whistle goes. A rousing few words, make sure the girls are up for the game, last few bits of tacticals, and away you go. Hopefully they all listen.

SK: Can you hear the fans when you play and is there a song or chant you listen out for?
KM: Yes, we’ve got a good fan group, there’s Mark with his drum, we’ve got a few people having a little sing-song, during the season a song sheet went out so for each player there’s an individual song and that was good to hear. You just give a little wave to acknowledge them and say thanks, they’ve been up and down the country with us all last season and hopefully they’ll continue this season.

SK: Who is last out of the changing rooms?
KM: It used to be me but I lead the line now so it’s probably Jade Richards, does the last little bit of hair and out she goes. Afterwards, probably Chloe Jones and Kerri Welsh cos they’ll have had a shower and been doing their hair and plying their makeup back on.

SK: Who has the cheesiest taste in music?
KM: Hayley Crackle. She’s old school, likes The Jam, Abba, has a little sing-song on the coach and a bit of karaoke, but it’s all good fun, the girls enjoy it.

SK: Who always sits at the back?
KM: We don’t, we try to keep all together, try and mix and get around the coach. Have a little quiz as well and tease each other when we lose.

SK: Who is the first asleep on the coach?
KM: Ash Brown always falls asleep. There’s a few photos of her snuggling into a jumper.

SK: Who do you tip for the title?
KM: I won’t discount ourselves. Brighton, Tottenham, Sheffield, to be fair it could be any of those teams, it’s going to be a competitive season, probably the most competitive since we started. It’ll be a good contest I think and someone will lose a game this season, I don’t think anyone will go unbeaten.

 

Rosie Lane, London Bees

Centre back Rosie Lane joined up with London Bees in July after leaving Oxford United where she was highly regarded as a brave leader on the pitch and a fans’ favourite to boot.

Pictured with manager Luke Swindlehurst (londonbeeswsl.com)

SK: How’s pre-season going Rosie?
RL: Tough, training is intense, good tempo, the games have been looking really promising, scoring a lot of goals.

SK: What’s been the hardest part so far?
RL: Probably the first session, the first week is always the hardest. You still do your programmes while you’re off but your body just feels different when you actually go back and kick the ball for the whole session rather than just running.

SK: What is your squad number and why?
RL: No.6. I’ve always been six, normally centre back is five or six but I think six is a prettier number than five so I’ve always chosen six.

SK: Bought new shinnys and boots?
RL: Not yet, that is my plan next week. I’ll buy two pairs and just one pair of shin pads.

SK: As a new player, have you undergone an initiation?
RL: I’ve not had to do one yet but I’m going to keep that quiet.

SK: It’s going to be a winter league, how will you stay warm?
RL: A lot of players wear Under Armour but I like just wearing my kit. I might start off in a jumper at training but I’ll probably take it off after five minutes.

SK: When’s your favourite time to play a match?
RL: Evening, weeknights. I think it’s a different atmosphere, the lights, and I seem to play better in the evening.

SK: Do you have a team huddle before a game?
RL: Yes, the captain says lots of positive things. I think it’s a good innovation.

SK: Who is last out of the changing rooms?
RL: It would probably be me, I take about 10 minutes taking my boots off, 10 minutes taking my shin pads out…

SK: Who spends the longest time in front of the mirror?
RL: Probably me.

SK: Who do you tip for the title?
RL: I think it’ll be an interesting season, a lot of teams have strengthened I think it’ll be very competitve and hard to say who will win but obviously we want to finish as high as we can.

 

Interviews and featured image by Catherine Etoe

 

The FA Women’s Super League season kicks-off on 22-24 September. For more information on both leagues and to buy tickets, visit: www.FAWSL.com. Follow the games live on BT Sport, BBC Online and The FA’s WSL Facebook page as well as live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live.