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Everton Women making progress - Hinnigan

Former Blue optimistic on team and overall women’s game.

Everton Ladies FC v Watford Ladies FC - FA WSL 2
Michelle Hinnigan, captain of Everton Ladies FC, leads her team out in 2015
Photo by Clint Hughes - The FA via Getty Images

Former Everton Women star and club captain Michelle Hinnigan has spoken on the progress of her beloved Blues as well as the women’s game in general.

The 32-year-old, who is currently Head of Year and a PE teacher at St John Bosco locally, praised the greater exposure the women’s game is now receiving and feels that it will be a real catalyst for younger generations of females to pursue a career in football. The FA Cup winner also believes that the current foundations the Blues have in place will bode well for a good league finish.

Speaking on the growth of the women’s game, the former midfielder and Club captain said:

It’s amazing to see how much publicity the girls are getting now, as it’s been a long time coming, and long may it continue.

It’s brilliant to see so many people commenting on the standard of quality in the women’s game, but more importantly, it’s giving our younger generation the motivation to be able to become professional footballers and make it a career. Compare it to ten years ago when it was still a hobby for some of us, players would have to juggle university, part-time jobs, and then, football.

There is still some room for improvement in comparison to the male game, but it is going in the right direction and the women’s game in the UK is only on the up, especially after the summer with the Lionesses winning the Euros.

For me, as a teacher, it’s brilliant that I am having conversations with students on careers in football and making the next steps to becoming professional. I am lucky enough to work in a school where football is on the curriculum and has been since I started, there have been a number of excellent players coming through and still coming through now who can aspire to be the next stars of the future.

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

The Current Crop

Turning her attention to Brian Sorensen’s side, Hinnigan, who has also run a number of soccer camps for young local talent, has been impressed with the manager’s approach. A disappointing campaign last season preceded the arrival of ten signings, with a focus on the loan market and youth. Currently sat in seventh place with three wins and as many defeats, the former England Under-23 star sees a good blend of youth and experience, with one former teammate, in particular, stepping up when required.

I think sometimes people are sceptical to change, so when Brian brought ten new players in some people may have questioned his strategy. But so far what we have seen is positive and they are improving and competing with clubs that maybe they would not have competed with last year.

There is a good mix of youth and experience in the team now and they seem to have settled a lot more this season. The derby at Anfield was a game where you could see all the hard work that has been put in on the training ground pay off.

There are some really talented young players at the club at the minute and you can see the experienced stars helping to nurture them on the pitch. Gabby George has shown her experience so far this season and played very well in a couple of positions.

She is willing to play wherever for this team and give her all.

Everton Women v Manchester City Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Emma Simpson/Everton FC via Getty Images

Our thanks to Michelle for her time and for speaking with us.