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Interview: Getting to know Sunderland AFC Ladies winger Jessica Brown!

We sat down with Sunderland AFC Ladies winger Jessica Brown to find out more about her start to life as a first team footballer, her aspirations for the future and more!

Colin Lock

RR: How old are you and what position can/do you play?

JB: I am 16-years-old and I tend to play right-back, or right wing.

RR: Tell us about your career to date...

JB: I have played football for most of my life and started playing at grassroots level for a team called North Shields Juniors.

When I was about 13, I joined Sunderland RTC and was there for three years before signing with the Ladies.

I have also made 11 appearances for England youth teams at u15s, u16s and u17s level.

Colin Lock

RR: Which player did you pretend to be on the playground, and which players do you look up to currently?

JB: When I was younger I never really had a specific role model, I always just played football with my brothers and wanted to be as good as them, even if it was just kicky-ups in the garden.

I currently look up to the likes of the Lionesses squad as they’ve just played in front of nearly 78,000 people at Wembley and I think that’s incredible.

RR: Produest moment of your career so far?

JB: One of my proudest moments is scoring at the Stadium of Light on my home debut for Sunderland - especially since it was such an important game such as a derby against Newcastle.

RR: Which players do you go to for advice in the Lasses squad?

JB: If I ever need advice I feel like I could go to some of the more experienced players like Keira [Ramshaw] and Grace [McCatty] as they’ve probably already been in the position I am, which is obviously really helpful if I am ever struggle or need advice.

RR: Best thing about playing for SAFC Ladies?

JB: I’d say the togetherness of the squad.

We are all willing to work for each other as we all have the same aim - promotion.

RR: What are your personal goals for this season?

JB: To contribute as much as I can to help us get promotion. I want to do everything I can to help us reach that goal as promotion is what we all want.

RR: You’re still only 16, but have been talked about since bursting onto the scene in August. Does having a manager like Mel Reay help keep you grounded?

JB: Yeah, definitely. Having someone like Mel is great.

She’ll never let us get ahead of ourselves, as having a good run of games isn’t going to guarantee you’re place in the team. We are often reminded that we have to work for that shirt every week. This also helps create a good competitive environment in training as everyone wants to be playing.

RR: You’ve been picked for the Lionesses at youth level. What are your ambitions at international level?

JB: My goal at international level is to one day be playing for the senior team. This is a big ambition of mine and I know I’ll have to work hard for it.

RR: One thing you’d like to see change in women’s football over the next 10 years?

JB: I would like the game to get more exposure. I’d like to see it on TV more.

I also think it would be great if there was equal pay between the men’s and women’s game, so that more women could have a full time job in the game.

Want to keep up with Sunderland Ladies and Jess Brown? You can follow them both at @SAFCLadies and @jessicabrown_11

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