Megan Wynne: Her journey from Spurs fan to employee to player

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales
Megan Wynne
Megan Wynne also played for Wales at U17 and U19 level
Euro 2021 qualifier: Northern Ireland v Wales
Venue: Seaview, Belfast Date: Tuesday 12 November, 2019 Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & updates on the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary

Tottenham Hotspur fans sing "he's one of our own," about striker Harry Kane, but not even Spurs' talisman has a connection with the club that runs as deep as Megan Wynne.

Wynne grew up a Spurs fan, before getting to sign for the club when they were still a part-time side.

That meant balancing football with a full time job in human resources, but even then Wynne's day job was also with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Now she is getting to live her childhood dream of playing football professionally, having left the office over the summer to embark on a full-time professional career with, you probably already guessed, Tottenham.

In their debut season in the Women's Super League following promotion last term, Wynne is bidding to establish herself with club and country.

Megan Wynne with Pochettino
Megan Wynne with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and his assistant manager Jesus Perez

Childhood Ginola fan to Spurs player

For Wynne, who grew up and lives in St Albans, but qualifies for Wales through her Welsh father Gareth, it has always been Tottenham.

Making the transition from fan, to employee to professional player, has been a dream come true for her and several members of her family.

"Growing up, all my family were Spurs fans, so I have always had a connection to Spurs and they happened to be the team I supported, so when I had the chance to sign for them, I jumped at the chance," Wynne told BBC Sport Wales.

"I was pretty much given no choice whatsoever about being a Spurs fan!

"I remember going with my dad and two older brothers to watch Spurs at White Hart Lane and going to watch my brothers play football, that's how I got into the game really, but I have always been a Spurs fan.

"My first game was Fulham away, my dad took me and I think Spurs won 2-1.

"I liked David Ginola, Teddy Sheringham, Allan Nielsen; I remember running around the garden shouting his name. It was around that time I got into it, I think my first big memory is when Spurs beat Leicester in the League Cup final.

"You definitely have lots of ups and downs being a Spurs fan, getting to the Champions League final was an absolute high, but you've just got to stick with it through the bad times I think."

Wynne had no qualms about taking a job for the club she loves when she was still playing part time.

"So I was working in HR anyway for a different company, I then signed for Spurs on the football front and a job came up that was similar to what I was doing, so I applied," she added.

"It was a coincidence that I was playing for them at the time, but everything happens for a reason I guess."

Megan Wynne
Megan Wynne's poster in the Spurs shop

A poster girl with Kane

Wynne rejoined Spurs, having previously played at the club on loan, in 2016.

She combined part time football with working in the office until Tottenham's promotion last term allowed her the opportunity to sign a full-time deal.

Wynne admits she had began to wonder if she would ever make the grade as a professional, let alone end up on posters in the Spurs shop alongside Kane and Hugo Lloris.

"Yeah for me it's something I have been working for, for a long time so now I have almost got there it is about putting things into action and when I step out onto that pitch making sure I am producing the performances as well," she said.

"As the seasons go on and you have still not quite made it, you do think 'shall I keep going?' but when you want something so badly you won't give up until you get there. For me it has happened a bit later on, but it is about making the most of it now that I have got here.

"I was content working for Tottenham and playing part time, I was still around that environment of football, it was definitely good for me, but it got tough, some days harder than others.

"But doing a long day at work and then going out on the football pitch was always hard, but now I have a much better balance of life and football, so all the hard work was worth it."

Wynne is looking to establish herself in the WSL and believes Spurs are making good progress.

"We started well in the league, we knew it would be hard to compete with the top, top teams, but we've had wins at Liverpool and at West Ham and have made a mark in the league already and I think people might have underestimated us," she added.

"For those of us who were there last season, we want to keep progressing and push our way into the squad. On a personal level I want to make as many appearances as possible and try and become a regular in the squad."

Megan Wynne on the ball v Northern Ireland
Megan Wynne came on as a subsititute in Wales' 2-2 draw with Northern Ireland in Newport

Wales aiming for major finals for first time

Wynne is ready to head to Belfast to face Northern Ireland on Tuesday as Wales women chase a first major finals.

Wales are unbeaten after three games and are currently second behind Norway in Euro 2021 European Qualifying Group C with Northern Ireland fourth.

Jayne Ludlow's side were held to a 2-2 draw by Northern Ireland at Rodney Parade in September when they were denied victory by Ashley Hutton's injury-time equaliser.

Wynne is hoping to take her good form with her club onto the international stage.

"It's a huge game obviously, coming off the good result in Belarus we are definitely looking to push on and get another win," she said.

"Obviously the last time we played against Northern Ireland it didn't end well and although we had a point we ended up coming away thinking we could have done a bit better.

"It will be tough, we know what Northern Ireland are about, they have some good players as we found out in the last game. So we know it will be a really tough test, but I think we will be ready.

"I think we've got a lot to prove now to go out and get a result.

"Getting to a major tournament in the main aim for us, but we have to improve game-on-game now and we can't get complacent, we have to take one thing a time. The main aim is qualification."

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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