16 year old Fern Whelan is already making a name for herself with various goals for both Everton and England Under 19’s. We chatted with her about how she started playing football and how it’s been going so far:
Where did your football career start?
Fern Whelan: “I’ve just joined to Everton from Liverpool. I’ve been playing football for about 9 years now so I’m getting used to it of course! I play for England Under 19s as well.
“I started playing for the School for the lads coz we didn’t have a girls team, St Pascal Baylon School in Court Hey. The teacher there played for Liverpool Feds so she signed me up for the younger group, and then I’ve just progressed through the ages I played for Liverpool all my career, it started with Liverpool Feds for about a year then they got more sponsorship from Liverpool, and then I played for them. I signed for Everton not so long ago.
|"I don’t mind heading the ball and getting tackles in and stuff..."|
“I used to play on Heron Eccles by Allerton, and then when I was about 15 I started playing with the ladies for a bit and trained with them at the academy and then it was playing games at Poulton Vics over the water.”
When did you start playing for England?
“I started in the Under 15s when I was 14 and I’ve gone up from there quite quick so. I’ve only played about 6 games for England now, but I’m getting more experienced in it, so it’s good. It’s very different to playing for your club because you’re all kitted up and you go out and there’s a crowd and you’ve got to sing the national anthem and stuff. There’s more pressure on you but it builds your adrenaline up so you play better, it’s really good.”
What’s been the highlight of your football career so far?
Fern Whelan: “Yeah it will be playing in the Under 19s European Championships, that was my first big tournament I’d ever played in so I really enjoyed that, I started every game as well so it was good.”
And what’s your strengths in your game?
Fern Whelan: “I play Centre of Defence - Centre back. I’d say probably my speed and heading the ball, I don’t mind heading the ball and getting tackles in and stuff.”
Rachel Browne - “She’s a tough nut (laughs)!”
What are your ambitions?
Fern Whelan: “Just to progress, keep playing for Everton, get into the team a bit more and eventually play for England in the near future, for the Seniors.”
Who’s your role model in women’s football?
Fern Whelan: “In women’s probably Lindsay Johnson here who plays for Everton, coz I’ve just started playing with her, so I take my game off her now, because she plays for the seniors so she leads me in a way - it’s good.”
And what about in men’s football?
Fern Whelan: “Jamie Carrigar, definitely yeah - he’s not as recognised as most of them but he’s good.”