Interview

10 years a Blue: Chelsea Women's Drew Spence remembers early days ahead of landmark weekend

Drew Spence celebrates 10 years as a Chelsea's Women's player this weekend, and ahead of our game against West Ham on Sunday, for which tickets are half-price, she has recalled some of her earliest memories in life, including an embarrassing nickname, what she used to listen to and the first football trick she tried and still loves to this day...

Our final home league game of the season is a chance to celebrate Spence's decade as a Chelsea player, during which time she has become an integral member of one of the top sides in Europe. But it is her roots in the game that she rewinds to in this revealing interview...
 

Favourite player

I always loved Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane, so it was pretty much between the two of them. Henry was a leader on the pitch and he scored some great goals. Zidane was just Zidane – he’s one of the best midfielders that ever played the game.

Great game

One that always sticks in my memory is from when I was in the Under-10s age group at Fulham. We’d finished our game and then the Under-12s manager wanted me to come and play 20 minutes for them. I came on and scored against Becky Spencer, who became a team-mate of mine at Chelsea! That was such a big thing for me when I was younger, to play at an older age group, and it’s always stuck in my memory. I told Becky about it but funnily enough she didn’t remember!

First trick

It was probably the Cruyff turn. That’s the standard trick people learn when they’re growing up and then you start picking things up from other players as you go along. But the Cruyff is just a classic, it’s a trick which is actually useful in a game and it’s used all the time. It’s one of the best ever.

First major tournament

I’d say it was the 2002 World Cup, when Ronaldinho scored a free-kick against England. We watched that game against Brazil at school and I remember it so well.

The girl I used to be

I was very shy, especially when I used to meet people. That probably followed me until I was 18 or 19, but I’m more confident now. On the pitch I was never like that. At primary school I was the only girl who played football against the rest of the boys in my class and I came to life on the football pitch.

All-rounder

I used to play a bit of badminton in secondary school and I thought I was pretty decent, but apart from that there wasn’t much else other than football. I watched loads of snooker when I was younger and I don’t know why, because I hate it now – I think it might have been down to my nan as she used to watch it. I loved John Higgins! I remember him winning loads at the time.

First position

I played up front. I haven’t moved back too far in my career, probably no further than a No.8. I love to go forward, that’s one of my biggest qualities, and it’s good I can play in a few different positions. I get to see different aspects of the game, and obviously it gives me a better chance of getting in the team.

Music

When you’re younger your taste in music is very different to what it is now. I’d listen to bands like Busted – I was a big fan of them – and I liked Spice Girls as well. But as I’ve got older I’ve branched out a bit.

Nickname

Everyone in my family called me Drew-drops, which is pretty embarrassing now I’m 25! None of my team-mates know it, so I’m hoping they don’t read this...

Role model

Probably my brother, Lewwis, who is five years older than me. I always used to play over the park with him and my dad and then he went on to sign for Crystal Palace, so he was at a professional level from a young age. I knew that’s what I wanted to do as well – I wanted to follow in his footsteps. So it was mainly him.

Prized possession

I kept a lot of the football shirts my dad used to buy me. My favourite one is an Arsenal shirt from the last year they were at Highbury, the burgundy one, and it’s got Fàbregas on the back. Fab’s the man! I love him as a footballer.

Best moment

I think it’s probably when I was told Fulham wanted to sign me. My dad had seen an advert for Fulham trials in a shop window, so I went along to that. Then they asked me to go to the training ground at Motspur Park for a trial, and I got in. That was probably the best moment because it meant I was playing for a team and coming up against the best girls in the country. I was only nine years old at the time.

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