Our next Rising Star is 16 year old centre-back Charlotte Long.
Charlotte plays for the London City Lionesses Under 21s and is looking to secure a soccer scholarship in America for 2025.
Firstly, why have you chosen to go to College in America?
You’re going to laugh, but when I was younger I watched ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ and honestly, that inspired me. I saw how amazing the facilities were. I think playing college soccer will open up so many opportunities. It’s not just playing football, your getting a University education too. I’m also excited to go and experience a different lifestyle.
Anyway, since watching that movie I have been following players like Rachel Daly on Instagram and I see how amazing women’s football looks over in the U.S. The level from college up to professional is just so high. That opportunity to go pro from college is there!”
What are you most excited about going to America?
Playing on the pitches and using the facilities over there. My dad took me around the University of Florida and it was just so amazing. Just like I remember from Bend it Like Beckham, if not better. I might not end up at that University, but either way I can’t wait to train on the facilities at whatever University I end up at.
What will you miss most about home?
My family, I’m really close to them. Also my team – the London Lionesses. I’ve been with them for 3 seasons now and we’re really close too. I have 2 years left on my contract so as soon as that is up, i’ll be off to America.
How have Soccer Assist helped you so far?
A girl on my team went to a trial and came back to training telling us all about it. I thought great, thats exactly what I want. So I went to one of their women’s football trials and was impressed. I was playing with players older and stronger than me, so it was a good test. The standard was really high.
Soccer Assist have been great, I have enjoyed their showcase games and they are always on hand to answer any questions and point me in the right direction.
You mentioned Rachel Daly, who else has been an inspiration for you in Women’s Football?
Millie Bright, she is so strong and she’s a leader on the pitch. When she speaks, everyone listens.
So what is your playing Style?
I’m an aggressive centre-Back. I always make sure my first tackle is my hardest – ‘let them know you there’ as they say.
I definitely try to model my game on Millie. I’m loud and I always talk to my team – to organise the players around me when needed and communicate throughout the game.
Tell us about a time you overcame an obstacle or challenge playing football?
I would go as far back as Primary School – There wasn’t a girls football team and they wouldn’t let me play on the boys team. So I had to get all my friends together to start up a team. We started with about 6 girls from the athletics team. Then more and more girls started joining and we were able to make a proper team and compete. I’m really proud to have played a part in setting that up for the school and giving girls that opportunity to play.
As you’ve got older and have more studies and train more often, how do you manager your time?
As other girls have said, you have to prioritise and social events are what come last sadly.
You never want to miss out on these things but it’s all about dedication and it will all be worth it in the end.
I’m potentially missing out on a friends holiday in two weeks because I’m hoping to join pre-season in Madrid with my school football team.
Your currently recovering from a serious injury, tell us more about that and how you are getting back to fitness
I tore my ACL quite badly. It was a grade 2-3 tear. I also damaged my meniscus and I had to have surgery. I’ve been out for about 9 months now.
I have started to run on the treadmill and am hoping to get back onto the pitch in October and back in matches by December. So it will be over a year out!
It’s been really tough. I have been working in the gym, but for the first 3 months I couldn’t even bend my knee. I have been doing upper body exercises and core work. Hopefully when I come back I will be a lot stronger, both physically and mentally.
It’s important to stay positive and celebrate the little steps and progress. Those are actually big things. It’s a big thing to go through so just know you will come back stronger.
You mentioned sacrificing your social life at time, what other sacrifices have you had to make to get to the level you are at now?
I’ve definitely had to sacrifice my time. I travel to Kent and back for training and spend about 12 hours a week on travel alone. It’s not cheap and it is long. But to stay at the level I want to be at and progress, it’s what needs to be done.
Do you find a difference in men’s & women’s clothing when it comes to playing football?
For sure, when I was 11 I played for Tottenham and back then we wore the boy’s kits. They were really big at top but slim at the bottom – which is the complete opposite of what girls need. It wasn’t comfortable really.
How have you found the Miss Kick Training Wear?
It’s my first time wearing the training wear. It’s really comfortable and fitted my body well. It doesn’t restrict me in anyway so I felt really confident in it.
I remember my mum bought me a jumper from Miss Kick one Christmas, so I think they are doing really well. There isn’t many female sports clothing brands out there and they are standing out right now.
How do you manage your physical workload in training and matches during your menstrual cycle?
Every woman is different. For me, I have a big lack of energy so I end up sleeping more. I have to make sure I get a good night sleep and I have to make sure I fuel myself up with food and water. I have to stay on top of these things to maintain my physical level on the pitch
What is you ultimate goal in football?
To wear the England shirt! I am confident that going to play College Soccer will help me get there!
I’m a Tottenham fan but I have to admit that Arsenal Women are so inspiring, I could see myself playing for them.
So who’s going to win the WSL then?
Arsenal are going to get the title back. With Leah Williamson back it’s going to be their year.
Who’s going to win the Women’s World Cup?
I’d love to say England. But because of their injuries I think U.S.A might just do it.
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Miss Kick believe everyone deserves an equal chance to perform to their best, on and off the pitch. That’s why they donate 2.5% of every order to their charity, Miss Kick Foundation, who create free opportunities for girls to get involved in the game. They also co-ordinate a Community Programme which enables girls to make friends with others like them who share a passion for football across the world.