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Interview: Getting to know Sunderland AFC Ladies defender Megan Beer!

We sat down for a chat with Sunderland AFC Ladies defender Megan Beer to talk about her football career, what it’s like being a youth product who made it with the first team, her favourite memories and more.

Sunderland AFC Ladies

RR: Tell us a little about yourself. What position do/can you play and how old are you?

MB: I am 26 years old and I play right back, or sometimes centre half or left back.

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

MB: I started playing football when I was about six with my two older brothers. From there I went on to go to fun days, then played for a boys team until I was 11, I think.

At that time you could only play for a boys team up until a certain age, so after that I ended up at Newcastle playing in their girls set up for Lisa Bell.

When I was around 14/15 I played for Newcastle centre of excellence where Mel [Reay] was my coach. At 16 I moved into the Newcastle Women’s set up.

I was at Gateshead College and I played for Newcastle until I was about 18 then I moved to Sunderland. Steph Bannon [former SAFC Ladies captain] was a casual coach at Gateshead at the time and helped me make the move across.

I played for the development for a number of years and went in between first-team and development, then eventually broke into the first team properly in 2014 when we played in WSL 2. I took a bit of time out the game in 2017 and came back to Sunderland last year when we were placed in the Northern National League.

RR: Who was the players, or players, you looked up to most growing up, and why?

MB: To be honest when I was growing up I just used to love playing and watching football.

Although when I was at college Mel would tell me to watch clips of Dani Alves, then quiz me about them on the bus to away games!

Brazil v Colombia
Dani Alves - not a bad role model to have!
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

RR: Proudest moment of your career so far?

MB: I would say my proudest moment was when I got the phone call from Mick Mulhern about stepping up from the development team properly and starting my first ever contract with the club.

I remember we were out for a meal with the development team, and the truth is Bannon had already give me a hint it was going to happen but I didn’t think it actually would. Then when he rang me it was a really special feeling.

I think because I had been in between the two for a while it was a real journey but it was all about trusting the process. I had great support from Amber (development coach at the time), Mel and Mick as well as the likes of Bannon, Kel Mc and Gem Wilson.

RR: Which current women's player would you like to emulate in the future?

MB: I mean now there are so many that are flying, and it’s all down to determination and hard work. I always keep an eye on Lucy Bronze as she just seems to get better and better, she is a great player to learn from!

RR: Best game you’ve ever been involved in?

MB: Probably when we played Reading in the WSL2 at home in 2014. I think I felt every emotion possible in that game.

We had taken a 2-0 lead with a a free-kick then Furney scoring a header. Reading pulled it back to 2-2. Then in the last minute they cleared the ball from our corner and it fell to Kel Mc and she rocketed a volley top corner - everyone just went nuts!

It was quite an important game to take 3 points for both teams! I still watch it back on YouTube (laughs).

RR: Best friends in the SAFC ladies squad and why?

MB: Scatty [Grace McCatty] and Keys [Keira Ramshaw].

I think the three of us are very similar so we just get along really well. I only met Scatty last year but she has been a great addition to the team and I have known Keys since college.

RR: The best thing about playing for SAFC ladies?

MB: The story. There’s been a lot of highs and a lot of lows but we always get through them. I think the level of commitment from everyone involved is also a really special thing and now we have more support than ever and its a great feeling to know we have a lot of people backing us.

RR: Which team did you support growing up?

MB: My brothers are mad Newcastle fans so it was Newcastle growing up, although I really loved Barcelona as well.

RR: What is the one change you'd like to see in the women's game over the next 10 years?

MB: We are going in the right direction, and I think the game can only get better. There have been some really big attendances lately so that would be really good to see consistently.

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