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Interview: Getting to know Sunderland AFC Ladies and England youth international Neve Herron!

We sat down with Sunderland AFC Ladies defender Neve Herron to talk about playing for SAFC, how Gary Bennett got her into football, her international ambitions and her admiration for former Black Cat Jill Scott.

RR: So Neve - tell us a bit about yourself!

NH: I am 16 years old and can play a number of position across the back four. Centre back, right-back or left-back. I can also play in central midfield.

RR: Tell us about your career to date - where have you played your football?

NH: I began my footballing career at a summer camp with former Sunderland defender Gary Bennett. During that he [Gary Bennett] encouraged me to go and join a team and that team ended up being Boldon CA. I was at Boldon a little while when I got a trial for Sunderland RTC, so I ended up playing there for three years before I came to Sunderland in the summer - and this is my first full season with Sunderland.

RR: Who was your footballing idol growing up, and why?

NH: My footballing idol growing up was England midfielder Jill Scott. She started at Boldon CA too, which is where I played my own grassroots football.

I feel she’s a real inspiration for the younger generations to get out there and play. I think she’s helping lots with getting more girls and women to play football.

RR: Proudest moment of your career so far?

NH: The proudest moment for me, so far, has to be playing at the Stadium of Light at the beginning of the season [against Newcastle United Women]. There’s so many people that have not had that opportunity and I feel very lucky to have done so. Because me and my family are huge Sunderland fans, it feels like an even bigger achievement.

RR: What is the best thing about playing for SAFC Ladies?

NH: The best thing about playing for Sunderland Ladies is that I always feel like I have someone supportive around me. Whether that is Mel [Reay] or Keira [Ramshaw], I always feel very supported.

Aside from that, it’s just brilliant to be given an opportunity to play in a Women’s first team, especially considering the circumstances this year.

RR: What are your targets for this season?

NH: My target goal for this season is just to contribute to the success of the team throughout the entire season. Hopefully it’ll be a season that see’s us get promoted.

RR: You’ve been involved with the young Lionesses recently, what are your ambitions at international level?

NH: My ambition at international level is to just stay in and around the squad, then hopefully maintain my position and carry that on until senior level.

RR: One thing you’d like to see change over the next ten years in the women’s game?

NH: I would like to see the participation in women’s football continue to grow. I feel that once more girls start playing football, it’ll get aired more on TV and the game will begin to really grow and be similar to what you see in the men’s game.

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