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Arnold Clark interviews footballer Emma Lyons following sponsorship

We caught up with footballer, Emma Lyons, to find out a bit more about the sport she loves, how it feels to win, and everything in between!

Emma Lyons

Emma Lyons

Arnold Clark recently sponsored the University of Stirling football player Emma Lyons. The annual sponsorship of £300 will ensure match fees, match officials, facility costs, transport and support services are covered so that the talented player is able to continue with the beautiful game and not wind up out of pocket – as many do.

We caught up with her to get the lowdown on getting involved in football, cheesy music and celebrating after a big win!

How did you first get into football?

My dad was the first person to introduce me to football. We used to kick a ball around in our back garden for hours at the weekend. Then I started to play football with the boys at primary school during break times. My school headmaster must have seen me playing because he decided to pick my sister and I for the school team.

I joined a boys’ club but was only allowed to train – the boys’ league would not let girls compete.
I then joined a boys’ club but was only allowed to train – the boys’ league would not let girls compete. Eventually (when I was about 12 or 13) the coach managed to find a local girls team for me to join so that I could play in matches instead of just training.

What's been your greatest achievement so far?

That’s a tough one! Either:

  • Winning the Euro ’96 Coca-Cola regional 6-a-side tournament in Nottingham and going on to play in the national tournament in London;
  • Captaining the Scottish University women’s football team in the British University Championships in 2002 (this was a multi-sport event where the University home nation teams compete against each other); or
  • Being awarded Scottish Women’s Premier League Player of the Year in 2011.

What would you say to other girls who would like to get into football?

This isn’t so difficult today compared to when I first started playing – although when I started playing I didn’t really realise it was such a big issue. I guess I would say that they should try to take part in whatever sport they enjoy doing and if that happens to be football then that’s great.

Join a school or university team to start with as the educational environment tends to be very supportive and allows players to develop.
I would also suggest that if they have never played before then they should try to join a school or university team to start with as the educational environment tends to be very supportive and allows players to develop. It also means that they are more likely to be there with their friends, which is a very important aspect of participating any sport.

What's the best piece of advice someone has given you?

Always practice with your weaker foot!

What other footballers or athletes inspire you?

When I first started playing football my hero was the Manchester United captain Bryan Robson. I would say that the athletes who inspire me now tend to be my teammates and some of the student athletes who I have the pleasure of teaching.

What kind of training regime to do undertake?

We train as a team 3 days a week. However, two of those days involve a double training session where we work outside for part of the session and in the gym doing strength and conditioning for the other part. I also try to fit in a couple of individual fitness sessions as well which have involved working with a Personal Trainer friend of mine called Alistair Booth.

What do you like to listen to while you train?

My music tastes is a little cheesy but it tends to be a mixture of stuff (at the moment I have a Faith Hill album on repeat!). I’m lucky because the gym at uni also has TV access on the cardio machines so if I want to just do a light session then I find myself watching Pointless or something like that!

Do you have any tips for getting motivated when you really don't feel like it?

Fortunately, playing a team sport tends to keep me pretty motivated as I know that if I don’t work hard then I will be letting my teammates down. However, if I were to be offering advice to someone, I would say goal setting is really useful for motivation.

Goal setting is really useful for motivation.
I find that setting short-term but challenging goals means that I am more focused on what I am doing and also shows me pretty quickly that I can achieve a target that I’ve set.

What do you like to do to relax or celebrate after a win?

Haha! I would love to say that I go out and have some mad type of celebration but to be honest I am normally that tired after playing that I just end up going home and crashing in front of the TV! I am lucky that my boyfriend is very happy to do the cooking on Sunday evenings. Of course, if it is something like winning the league/getting promoted, like what happened last season, then the whole club has a celebration which is normally a good night with awards and a lot of partying!

About the Author

Natalie Little

Staff writer at Arnold Clark