Following on from my well-received interview with the then-manager of the women’s senior team, Paul Iannoccone, I decided to pose some questions to the captain of the side, Lucy Golding. Although only one competitive match has been played thus far in 2017/2018, she already has two excellent goals to her name. She is also a qualified football coach and referee!
Firstly, can you tell me a bit about your background and what made you want to play competitive football?
I started playing football when I was 8, mainly on the streets as there wasn’t much available for girls at the time in the way of competitive teams. I was always encouraged to play sports such as netball and rounders at school but I loved the challenge, competitiveness and physicality of football. A local boys club set up a girls team so I took the opportunity to join. After spending a few years developing my skills, winning various league’s and cups and hitting my highest record yet scoring 52 goals in one season including 2 goals in Holland, I decided to rise to the challenge of a higher level of football. I’d spent time at Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers before being awarded a scholarship at UCLAN to support me with my studies and on completion I moved to FC United of Manchester before settling at Bury.
What made you choose to play for Bury?
Bury has always attracted players from around Greater Manchester and beyond – it’s a well known club in girls and women’s football. The positive culture and ethos at the club is what attracted me, they do things the right way. The club ensures that all teams are equipped with highly qualified and experienced coaches which is what leads to so much success.
How would you describe your role as captain of the first team? Is there more to it than the casual observer would think?
For me, it’s all about being a great role model and motivator. We’re a young side and I think some of our youngest players need someone who is going to guide them and support them as they step up to senior football. Even for some of our most experienced players they can sometimes feel nervous in the run up to a big game and this is where myself, vice-captain Amy Openshaw and our management work together to motivate, inspire and encourage the players.
How would you describe your (the team’s) style of play to anyone who’s not had to see you before?
We’ve become a very passing side over the past 2 years. We like to build from the back and we can be quite patient in the build up. Once we’re in the attacking third we utilise the speed of the strikers and attack goal with some force.
How would you summarise both the first team and your own individual 2016/2017 season as a whole?
Last season we set ourselves a target of a top half finish. Finishing third and reaching the League Cup Final greatly exceeded this target. The players worked hard in training and this definitely showed on the pitch. Our technical ability has improved greatly and the bond between all players really enhances the link up play you see on the pitch.
Personally I think I’ve had a good season. I had set myself a target to score 10 or more goals and I finished with 17 which I was quite surprised with as a centre midfielder.
Are there particular players coming through the ranks that you think could be ones to watch in 2017/2018?
We’ve had players join us this summer from Manchester City and FC United of Manchester who are very promising.
Do you think the senior side have a realistic chance of promotion in 2017/2018?
Absolutely! We were so close last season and the players understand what we need to do going forward. The Club have just appointed Matt Graham as the new First Team manager who comes with a lot of experience having coached and managed in the Women’s Premier League. I’m confident that with his knowledge and expertise he will take us to the next level.
What is your long-term aspiration within football?
We’re definitely seeking promotion this season. We’d also like to be in a position where we can compete comfortably in the FA Cup and progress into the Women’s Premier League.
What’s it like combining playing with being the treasurer of the women’s side of the football club?
I like to keep the two things separate. At training and on a match day my focus is working hard, playing great football and leading the team. I deal with the business side of the Club on other days and the two roles never seem to overlap.