Arsenal Ladies want Alice for their squad
Year 8 student Alice Russell has been signed up to Arsenal Ladies Youth Development programme.
The Huxlow Science College student, who is the goalkeeper for Rushden and Diamond’s U14 youth team, beat off competition from across the region to be chosen to train at the Premiership team’s training camp based at the University of Hertfordshire.
This is a dream come true for Alice whose ambition is to become a professional footballer.
She has been playing the sport ever since she can remember along with her two older brothers and dad Mark Russell, who is a boys’ youth coach at Northampton Town Football Club.
She said: “I went for trials in August and had to take part in some skills exercises and play a game.
“I then had to wait a couple of weeks for news and then my dad received an email. I was so pleased as I really love the sport and it’s my ambition to make it into the England side.”
As part of the youth development programme Alice is given expert advice on areas such as nutrition, attends weekly training sessions and also has to provide video diaries of skills practice at home. She is also given complimentary tickets to watch Arsenal Ladies games.
Alice, who also plays for the county side, says she really enjoys the goalkeeping position as she likes it that sometimes she can be the hero of the match.
She said: “In one match we had a penalty shoot out against the league leaders.
“It went down to penalties and as I saved a few of them we won the match.”
She added: “I do get nervous in penalty shoot outs but I know that I can stop the goals so I’m confident. My aim in each game is to keep a clean sheet.”
And this season Alice will have her skills further tested as she now has to play games with adult sized goals.
Unfortunately Alice injured her foot at the start of September and is having treatment before she can return to training.