We had the pleasure of speaking to the wonderfully talented, Chelsea winger & England international, Karen Carney. Internationally, Carney has been a regular for England since making her debut in the 4–1 victory over Italy in 2005, coming off the bench to score England’s fourth goal.
From then on Carney was an integral part of the team, featuring in the 2005 and 2009 European Championships, helping England to the final of the latter and scoring as the Lionesses lost to Germany.
She received her 100th cap in a 3–0 loss to Germany at Wembley Stadium on 23 November 2014.
Karen was awarded an MBE in Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to football. At the start of the 2017 season she signed a new contract committing herself to Chelsea football club until 2020.
Some people actively get involved in football because of a parent who loves the game or because they are in a group of friends that regularly played. Karen was a bit different, as she explained,
“I actually only got into Football at the age of 7 or 8, oddly, it felt like football picked me rather than the other way round!”
It appears Karen fell in love with the game quite early on, and although she had a fondness for the sport, she knew she’d have to put effort into her talent.
“My Mum always said, “hard work always pays off” it’s the best piece of advice I ever received.”
Football has always played a huge role in Karen’s life, reminiscing fondly of her favourite game as a child,
“I remember as a child going to watch the Blues (Birmingham FC) at Wembley and seeing them win the Auto Windscreen Final. It was an incredible experience. My favourite thing about being a footballer is match day”
We spoke to Karen about the development of grassroots football and the importance of continuing with the growing participation figures,
“The most important thing to do is to just enjoy yourself and don’t put any pressure on it. Three things, have fun, have fun & have fun”
Music to our ears, Karen! One of Little Kickers' main aims is to provide a pressure free environment within our classes, where the first thing children learn is a love of the game. Hopefully this will continue to develop as our Little Kickers grow up, and will result in a love of sport which will stay with them for life.
‘A simple message to all the Little Kickers out there? Have fun and enjoy playing!’
We’d like to wish Karen all the best for her upcoming games, thank you for taking the time to speak to us.