Lucy Bronze and a number of older players from England’s Euro 2022 winning squad had to work part-time to support their early football careers, but she said they would be the last generation to doing so because of the steps towards more professionalism in the women’s game.
Bronze worked at a Headingley branch of Domino’s while studying at Leeds Beckett University and also playing for Everton and Liverpool in the WSL.
Ellen White, meanwhile, had a 9-5 job when she played for Arsenal in her early twenties and went to the gym before work, before also training in the evenings.
Their past experience is not unique to England’s current setup for players of a certain age. It was in 2009 that the FA began awarding central contracts, while WSL clubs universally only turned fully professional much more recently in 2018.
Young players in the England squad and the next generation of national team stars won’t have to endure the same act of juggling through the professional era at the highest level.
“We had full-time teachers who played for England. I think we are the last generation to have to do this. I worked at Domino’s while playing professionally,” Bronze said. OKAY! magazine.
But even now, for players outside the England squad, including those on smaller professional contracts in the WSL, the need to work to supplement income with additional jobs still exists.
“I think outside of the England team, the women still have to work,” Bronze added.
“[England players] are quite well supported by the FA. Many of our players are still studying but it’s not necessarily because they have to, it’s because you have to think about a career after football. We don’t make enough money to just set foot on the beach and retire.
“A lot of WSL players still have another job and a lot of players have given up because there’s more money to be a teacher. It’s a lot of stress trying to manage being a footballer with a job. regular.
“It’s frustrating. It’s not something we’ll ever get used to. We’re painted to be professional sports people and you play in leagues where the perception is that everyone is professional, but if everyone was professional, the level would increase.
“Not all the other Euro countries are professional players – imagine what we could do if everyone were, and what that would do for their quality of life.”
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