6. Grace Coombs
Getting to know . . . . Grace Coombs
Grace is another loyal Addick, who has been with the club for over 14 years! She’s developed through the ranks, and also works as part of the Community Trust team day to day.
Grace is a commanding central defending with good technique and range of passing from defence. She is competitive, brings us good experience, and is one of our leaders on and off the pitch.
Let’s hear a bit from her…
Do you have any pre-match routines or superstitions…?
Well not really any superstitions, but I suppose a few in terms of routine. I sit in the same place in the changing room for home games, go in the same line for warm ups (the so called “slow” group behind Charley Clifford!) and then I always walk out near the back of the line before kick-off.
What is your favourite part of match days…?
A mixture of when I arrive and all the girls are all in the changing room having a laugh with the music on, and after the warm up when we are back in the changing room getting ready and finishing off with our final preparations before the game.
If you could have 1 attribute of a teammate, what would it be…?
Definitely Paddy’s (Avilla Bergin) pace!
Biggest moaner and worst loser…?
I don’t think I could pick the biggest moaner, as a team we probably spend at least half our time moaning about one thing or another! The main culprits would have to be Sam Pittuck, Charley Clifford, Kit Graham or myself! Worst loser for after games I would have to say is Kim Dixson, being so competitive, when things don’t go our way she is the one who could be in a bad mood for days!
A funny moment since you’ve been at the club…?
It’s hard to pick one, there aren’t many weeks where someone doesn’t fall over or make a funny comment, but there is one that springs to mind and is quite recent. We were away in Belgium for a pre-season tour at the beginning of last season and we were doing a crossing and finishing drill. As a ball was kicked out from the goalkeeper, a member of staff tried to do a scorpion style kick and ended up face down on the floor. Half the team were on the floor laughing and we didn’t let them forget it!
You’ve been at the club for 14 Years, what’s been your biggest achievement so far?
Definitely winning the Southern Premiership in 2010-2011 season, we had been close to winning the league in previous years and we had a very good squad but we were quite young so it was a great achievement for us at the time, especially winning it in the last game of the season!
How have things changed since you first joined the club, and how did you find the transition from girls to senior football?
I joined when I was 8 so there have been a lot of changes since then and the clubs has been through a lot of ups and downs! The transition from girls to senior football was hard, going from playing against people your own age to grown women is tough, but it just meant I had to grow up quickly and mature otherwise I would have struggled with it. Luckily I was in very good teams where everyone looked out for each other and helped the younger players which made the transition easier.
Best thing about the club?
Its togetherness in all aspects, from my own team mates to the support for each team across all age groups. A family atmosphere is created and we all try to do everything as a club together.
As a player, what are your best attributes and what are your goals for this season and beyond?
My best attributes are reading the game and I’d like to think my calmness on the ball. My goals for this season are for us to win the League and all the cup competitions we are in, especially the Premier League Cup. It may be tough for us to win the league with the position that we are in right now, but I know me and all the girls will do all we can to try and change that by the end of the season, or at least have a say in who does win the league. We are in 3 semi-finals at the moment and with the ability we have in our team, I would be confident we can get to every final and could win every cup if we perform like we know we can.
What advice would you give the younger girls in the club, and young girls across the country who want to develop from girls to senior football at a high level?
I would say make sure you enjoy what you are doing and be committed to what you are doing. If you are enjoying yourself, you will want to work hard to improve and that will show in performances. It requires a lot of commitment to play football at a high level and if you are willing to do this it will pay off when you reach senior football. Also don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! The way the game has/is progressing it can now be a career for young girl, so aim high!