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  • Josh Schneider-Weiler

Interview with Alex Culvin: Lifting the Veil on Women's Football

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

Alex is an ex-professional women's football player.

About Alex

In her career as a full-back, Culvin played for 5 teams, Leeds, Everton, AZ Alkmaar, Bristol Academy and Liverpool.


She is now finishing her PhD dissertation on the realities facing professional women footballers in England.


In this interview she'll discuss her playing days, pregnancies and how it relates to women's football, contract issues in the game and what the future is like for the women's game. She also talks about the Eni Aluko/Mark Sampson situation as she played for Sampson and with Eni in the past.


Culvin has interviewed dozens of women's footballers and what she shares in this episode is truly groundbreaking research.


Listen Here

Timeline

4:40 Impact of Mo Marley on her

10:40 Day in the life of a female footballer 10 years ago

19:07 The Eni Aluko situation

26:42 Pregnancy

34:32 Contract issues

40:45 The future of women's football

46:03 Why she quit the game


Highlights

  • "These players have given up careers…what they're earning by the clubs is minimal compared to what you'd earn in a normal job. So to go to work everyday and not be treated like a professional, that is where the problems start."

"One player described a treat for their team was when they got to the FA Cup Final, they were allowed to train at the men's training ground for a week"
  • "FIFA doesn't even have a definition of semi-pro…A lot of players I would talk to would describe their circumstances as semi-professional. That's a big problem that we've got."

  • "Players are showing up to training and they can't be treated because they only have one physio so players with a long-term injury aren't receiving adequate medical care."

"Some players describe being at training everyday without a physio"
  • "The medical care is inconsistent at best"

  • "I think what we've really got to drill down into is, these are women, right's to have children. They're in a form of employment now, so there's got to be a bridge that's built so players can have kids if they want to."

  • "I don't think clubs are putting the right strategies in place to support players in terms of maternity policy."

  • "But I just don't think he had the credentials in terms of morals to have that position."

"When Mark [Sampson] got the England I was flabbergasted."
  • "Even with money, I don't think it would've felt any different. It still feels really special and something you want to commit the rest of your life to."

  • "I think without the monetary backing we still felt pretty much professional because you still dedicate every waking minute to training. Before work, after school."

You can follow Alex on Twitter @AlexCulvin

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