Christie, tell me a little bit about yourself:
What age did you start sport and what sports did you participate in?
I’ve always played sport particularly football for as long as I can remember, I used to drive my mum crazy kicking a football about the house, I always had one with me wherever I went. I loved PE at school and did Taekwondo up until I was about 11 years old before deciding to focus solely on football.
How would you describe a typical day at Doncaster Belles?
It varies but typically it looks like:
Monday: Recovery & Gym
Tuesday: Individual pitch session and team session.
Thursday: Individual pitch session and team session.
Friday: Afternoon team session
What are some of your career highlights so far?
Playing for my country has given me a few special moments. The one that sticks out to me most was when I scored my first senior international goal in 2012. We played Republic of Ireland in a crucial Euro Qualifiers match at Tynecastle and right into the second half we were 1.0 down and needed to win it to still be in with a shout of making the play offs. I came on as a substitute with 20 minutes left, we equalised from a Rhonda Jones header and then won the ball straight back from their kick off, Lisa Evens passed me the ball and I scored the winner from about 25 yards out. It was an incredible feeling and one I will never forget!
Other than training and competing, what do you like to do away from the football?
I love reading particularly around fitness, business and personal development. I’m also a personal trainer so I enjoy doing that when I have a bit of free time. Other than that I love spending time with my family and close friends, because I live away from home I do try to make sure I spend as much time with them as I can, usually we will go for food or out for a coffee and cake!
How do you feel you have progressed in the last few years as an athlete and as a person?
Both as an athlete and as a person I think I’ve grown a lot. Physically I feel that I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and thats come really from a lot of hard work doing extra sessions and playing regularly for my club.
Has your outlook on football and life changed?
As I’ve got older my focus in life and in football is to be fit, healthy and happy whilst being surrounded by good people who help and challenge me to be the best version of myself.
What motivates you to push yourself further each day, and how do you measure success?
Not dissimilar to many of my peers, I’ve faced a number of tough times throughout my career; long-term injuries, not getting game time, the stress of trying to find a new club. These types of situations have all made me stronger, kept me grounded and made me more determined to be the best footballer I can be. I want play at the highest level, on the most prestigious of stages, both at club and international level.
I endeavour to make every training session count. I’m also a big believer in goal setting – smaller goals and targets to focus on each session, as well as bigger goals in terms of my career. For me it’s about continual improvement, there’s always something new that I can learn or work on.
Who would you say are your role models in sport and life, and why?
My parents, they’ve given me everything I’ve every wanted or needed in my life, they’ve supported me and help me to follow my dream of playing professional football. In terms of sport I grew up mesmerised by Henrik Larsson. I was fortunate enough to be a season ticket holder at Celtic park, and was able to watch him tear defences apart every week. He was such a talented, humble player with an amazing work ethic, which also allowed him to go on and play at two world class teams in Manchester United and Barcelona.
If you could give one tip for each of the following what would it be?
Mindset: Control the controllables. Take care of the things that are within your power, such as your work rate, your attitude, being a good team mate, the intensity and application that you bring to your training and matches.
Movement: Learn to push and pull your own body weight under control and continue work on areas that you find need improving.
Nutrition: Learn how to cook. As an athlete it’s important to fuel your body properly and by learning to cook you will be able to take ownership over how you recover.
Recovery: Get a good nights sleep, it’s the best form of recovery.
And finally, what advice would you give to female players looking to break into elite women’s football?
Be relentless in the pursuit of being the best person and footballer you can. Work hard, set goals, ask questions, have an open mind and put yourself out your comfort zone.
Thank you Christie for your time, and all the best for the upcoming season.
You can follow Christie via Twitter: @christiemurray7