Chelsea Women striker Erin Cuthbert has discussed how much her life has changed since her move from Scotland to join the Blues…
The 20-year-old signed for the club in 2016 from Glasgow City and since then has been a key player for the Blues, whether that be starting matches or coming off of the bench.
In her first column for BBC Sport, she shares her experiences and gives an insight into her life since moving to London to become a professional footballer for the Blues.
‘Sometimes I do sit back and think, “wow, how has this happened”, because some of the things I'm experiencing down here are bonkers.
‘Last week I was named in the PFA team of the year and scored in a Champions League semi-final. Then I've hopefully got a World Cup to look forward to in the summer.
‘But two and a half years ago I was studying at the University of the West of Scotland and playing part-time for Glasgow City. I was miles away from where I am now, both in terms of location and what I'm like as a player and a person.’
Recently David Luiz invited players and staff to his fancy dress party at Stamford Bridge to celebrate his 32nd birthday with him. Cuthbert dressed as Braveheart [pictured above], but she and her team-mates struggled to decide on what gift to get the Brazilian, who is very supportive of the women’s side.
‘What do you get David Luiz for his birthday?,' she asked. ‘My Chelsea team-mates and I spent a chunk of last week trying to work that out after we were invited to his 32nd birthday party.
‘I mean, this is a guy who's got everything he could possibly want. He's played for Brazil at a World Cup, won the Champions League and Europa League with Chelsea, and played for Paris St-Germain. A Lynx Africa boxset isn't going to do the job, is it?
‘In the end, me and the girls clubbed together and got him champagne, flowers and a Chelsea Women's top and went to his fancy dress party at Stamford Bridge, which he'd invited all the players and staff to.
‘David is a really good guy. I've spoken to him a few times and he messages me on Instagram when I score or whatever. He watched the first leg of our Champions League quarter-final against PSG and gave me some tips about what it is defenders don't like coming up against.’
So far in her Chelsea career Cuthbert has netted 26 goals, with 11 of them being throughout the 2018/19 season. This year she had been nominated for the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award and Young Player of the Year award, plus she has been named in the PFA Women’s Super League Team of the Year alongside team-mates Hannah Blundell and Ji So-Yun.
However, despite coming a long way and having many fantastic opportunities since becoming a Blue, Cuthbert shared how tough it was for her at the beginning of her career at Chelsea Women
‘I was 18-and-a-half and was living in a house with three of the other girls. Ji So-Yun from Korea was one, and the other two lived in England, so quite often they went home.
‘Quite often I felt a bit alone, shut away in my room wondering what to do. I couldn't restart my business degree with the Open University until the October, so I had 10 months of watching Netflix. It's what I suppose a gap year must be like.
‘I'm in my own flat now - it's in Weybridge in Surrey - which has made a huge difference. It's near the training ground and you can go home and close the door behind you and don't have that awkwardness of asking your flat-mates if they mind your dad coming to stay.
‘You don't realise how intense it is, working and living with the same people, either, so I'm probably more sociable now, too.
‘London feels a long, long way from Ayrshire sometimes, and in loads of different ways.’