Derby County Football Club Women

Women’s Football Weekend: Jodie Michalska’s Roots in Football

This weekend has seen the women’s game celebrated with the annual Women’s Football Weekend showcasing the game across the UK and though Derby County Women have been unable to play their part, we spoke with forward Jodie Michalska to find out about her roots in the game. 

The experienced striker is enjoying a new lease of life at the #EweRams and is hoping to pass on her knowledge to the future stars of the game including her own daughter who has recently took up the game.

Michalska said “For me it is vital that we continue to fully support young girls coming into the game, my little one has just started playing and the coaches are amazing with them and it puts a smile on her face every session.

“I’ve seen examples in the past where pressure even at a young age is put on them and it’s important to make sure we don’t lose players because of lack of support and encouragement. I’m a big believer that if your enjoying the game, you’ll be more willing to learn.

“My little one is doing great, I give her little tips at home but I don’t like to interfere when she’s at training, I want her to enjoy it. I’ve helped out at training sessions but I’m very aware of making sure she’s comfortable so when asked, I always make sure that she is happy for me to help.”

As one for the more experienced players in the Ewe Rams squad, Jodie has seen the game evolve and whereas these days their are girls leagues, her own education was playing boys football and that a good mixture is essential and has helped with her own longevity.

“When I first started out it was playing football with my older brother on the field behind our house and I’ve always been a big football watcher though it was on TV rather than going to live games. I wasn’t really aware of women’s football back then so to see where it is now is great.

“I played at school with the lads and in teams too and I think that helped me with the physical side of the game and having to get stuck in and not be afraid. I think I’ve always had that and in some ways feel I was born to play football.

“I was never felt to feel different playing with the boys, it was always so natural and I was never made to feel uncomfortable from my teammates, opponents, coaches or parents and that’s how it should be, we’re all playing the game we love at the end of the day. It helped that I was pretty decent as well though haha.”

Moving forwards, Jodie believes the game is only going to go from strength to strength though feels a mixture of inter-gender matches and teams is not a bad thing and can help prepare girls for the greater physicality as the game evolves.

“I want to see that desire to get stuck in and graft wins out and it’s not quite there in our game at the moment. Is it because of a move to no longer playing with boys? There’s probably a bit of it and mixing at times could still be good for our game.

“The main thing is getting that good quality coaching and learning from a younger age and that’s where playing in girls leagues is great, your probably less likely to lose players to the game because I’m sure many have been lost and the game is only going to grow the more that play.

“If I could offer any advice to those either starting out in the game or coming in is to enjoy it first and foremost, and then make sure you get really fit and take it seriously and then it will come easier. Staying disciplined and learning your position and even getting some 1-2-1 sessions would benefit you.”