In Conversation With Zoe Roberts


Here we are back with another instalment of the 'In Conversation' series and this time we got to chat to Bradford City Women defender Zoe Roberts. Zoe is a fantastic player in the defensive line and is one of the players that stood out to me when I first went to see City and is a player who has continued to stand out to me. Zoe is lethal when it comes to free kicks and is a real threat when they are awarded in those dangerous positions and she is also a general attacking threat who can get back into position to help out in her defensive duties when the opposition is on the counter attack. So here is how our conversation with Zoe went... 

EOTA:  Whilst we haven’t seen much on the pitch due to Covid we have seen plenty of movement off the pitch with Ian & Keith joining the club and us becoming part of community foundation how do you think that’s going to benefit us?

Zoe : I think the movement off the pitch has been great to see and it’s really exciting to see how the club is progressing. Ian and Keith are both brilliant and have brought so many new ideas to the club which has had a massive impact. Becoming a part of the foundation is only going to make the club stronger and generate that pathway from juniors all the way to the seniors and a connection between the both is what every club wants so we can’t ask for much more really. 

EOTA: We have seen Brighouse promoted out of the league and 2 new additions being added in Alnwick and FC Manchester is it nice to see new teams added to the league after no relegation or promotion during the previous cancelled season?

Zoe : That’s a bit of a tough one because as much as it’s always nice to have new competition in the league but I think as a team we’re focused on ourselves and our own game and aiming to be fighting at the top this season. We know we have the talent so it’s about putting things right in training and making them pay off on game days.

EOTA: As a player how have you been staying match fit during the lockdowns as it must have been hard not knowing if the season was going to happen again?

Zoe: Lockdown has probably been hard in some respects for most athletes, it’s having the right mindset to go out for a run or do a home workout. Luckily as a team we managed to set fitness challenges and have team zoom calls for fitness sessions so it was nice to still see the girls even if it was via a laptop. Then it was just a few runs and workouts at home in between the team ones, I probably managed a couple extra a week.

EOTA:  How important do you believe social media is in raising awareness of the women’s game & helping promote teams in lower leagues like yourself 

Zoe : With how the world is now and that most things in life revolve around social media I do believe that it is a vital part in promoting women’s football however there is still a long way to go when most of the posts are just full of comments which are not necessary. I think we’re heading in the right direction in regards to more posts on social media but there's still room for improvement. 

EOTA:  We are seeing the club come closer to the men's team and after the merge with the foundation we are seeing a lot more promotion across social media, do you think that promotion is going to bring in more fans to games? 

Zoe : It would always be nice to get a solid fan base at the games and I’m sure it would bring a lot more energy to the team. Fans play a massive part in the game and are literally the 12th man. Having fans in the ground can win games for me, getting behind the team and urging them forward as they would with the men would lift the team’s spirit and I just think it would create an atmosphere that the team would buzz off. So we are hoping to get more fan’s down on Sunday’s and to have that final piece that is missing on a game day.

EOTA: What would you say to any young girls who have been inspired by the recent Euros and want to get into football but are unsure of taking the first step?

Zoe : My only advice would be to do it, find your local team and go down for a training session. You have nothing to lose and in most cases you become a part of something special, the friends and memories you make can last a lifetime and can play a massive part in developing characters. Football for me not only helps develop skills but can make a person into who they’re supposed to be, it gives confidence, you get a buzz training and playing, it’s 90 minutes of just football and no other problem in the world, so yeah my advice would be to take the chance and try it, it may become the best choice to ever make. 

EOTA: To anyone on the fence about coming and spending their Sunday afternoon watching you what would you say to get them into the stadium? 

Zoe : This may sound silly but to not listen to the comments online, and to come down and see 90 minutes of pure passion and desire. I’ll probably be the first to admit that the quality isn’t always there as it would be in the men’s game but the girls will always give 100% in any game they’re playing. You’ll see a squad work for each other until the very last minute, having each other's backs, the talent we have to offer. I think most people would have a different opinion after watching a game. 

EOTA: What is the team feeling like going into the season with the fact it has been a shorter off season? Are the players fully fit, ready and raring to go? 

Zoe : The team has had a very strong pre-season, it’s had its highs and lows but overall we’re raring to go. We have worked nonstop week in week out and our performances in friendlies have shown that. I don’t think I've ever seen a team more up for the first game than I have now. We’ve had tough games and we’ve made mistakes but we’ve had the correct attitude throughout to learn from them and I think the team’s mentality has improved massively which is having such a positive impact within the squad. We’ve set our aims and I have every bit of belief in this squad that we can achieve everything we’re working towards. 

EOTA: With seasons been stop and start has it been hard recently to gel as a team or have you still been able to do team bonding activities to an extent?

Zoe : I thought with the season being on and off it would have had an impact on the togetherness of the team but I genuinely can say that we’ve come out stronger as a team. It was always hard to do team bonding as we were restricted in what we could do but a few challenges outside of fitness over zoom worked a treat. We were still able to work as a team and got put into groups to do things like baking challenges, and drawing contests so it was a nice change, however I think I speak on behalf of the girls that the competitiveness of the challenges was not normal so we may have to rethink of some challenges if it was to happen again haha.

So there you have it that is our chat with Bradford City Women's Zoe Roberts, I am really looking forward to seeing how Roberts helps the squad progress this season as in that defensive line alongside Woodcock I think she could play a crucial role in how the season shapes up.

Who else would you like to see us chat to in the 'In Conversation' series? Anyone from your supported club? Let us know as we would love to get more people involved in this series.

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