We talk to United’s captain Lauren Haynes, who gives us the lowdown on her habits, career in football and future aspirations.
What item can you not live without?
“My water bottle, because I just drink squash all the time – I’m genuinely addicted to squash!”
If you were stuck on a desert island with one of your teammates, who would you pick to be with you?
“I’d say Gemma [Sims] because she’s a mum and I feel like she would look after me.”
Who’s your favourite music artist and why?
"J. Cole, just because I listened to his early music and I’ve always liked it. It’s something that I listen to every day, especially on a game day.”
And what genre of music has you reaching for the off switch?
“Well I love music! I’m going to have to say any sort of country music.”
Which footballer have you always looked up to?
“Frank Lampard – I’ve always loved the way he played, and now obviously he has gone into management. With the career he’s had, as a kid I always looked up to him and I wanted to play like how he did as a central midfielder.”
When did you play your first game?
“My earliest memory of football was when I was about six years old, when my brother played for a team. On the other side of the AstroTurf pitch was a boys’ team for my age group, and they literally just put me on the pitch – I used to play with my hair down – and was just told to keep the ball out of the net! I also made my professional debut at Bristol City under Mark Sampson, at 17 years old, against Arsenal and I played centre-back.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
“Hopefully I’ll be working full time in football, continuing my teaching and football career.”
Have you ever thought about playing in a different position?
“Well I’m predominantly a centre-mid, but in my head I’m a number 10! Liam [Gilbert] just won’t play me there.”
Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
“I have a superstition for before training, which is where I must have a ham sandwich. I just like ham sandwiches, with loads of butter! Although I don’t have any superstitions for before a matchday; I’m usually quite focused and listen to music.”
Who’s the loudest in the dressing room?
“Chez [Cheryl Williams], Georgia Clifford and Amber Roberts for sure.”
And who is the first person you call after a game?
“If my dad isn’t there it would be him, but he comes to every game. Honestly I have a little catch up with my best friend called Dexter; we speak about the game and beforehand he always wishes me a good luck message, and I give him a debrief on the game.”
When you win the lottery, what’s the first thing that you will buy?
“I would buy a very expensive villa in a very hot country, I wouldn’t mind somewhere in Greece or Santorini, and then I’d probably sort my friends and family out a little bit.”
What activity is top of your bucket list?
“Probably to go to Las Vegas with my friends, and just spends loads and loads of money and have a really good time.”