Introducing our new Courier columnist - Halifax born Manchester United star Kirsty Hanson

Welcome to my first monthly column. I hope I can give you a bit of insight in to the life of a women’s professional footballer in the Women’s Super League over the coming months.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 8:39 am
LEIGH, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Kirsty Hanson of Manchester United celebrates after scoring her team's second goal during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Manchester United Women and Everton Women at Leigh Sports Village on May 09, 2021 in Leigh, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

I started playing football when I was about 6 years old at North Bridge Leisure Centre and I then went on to play with a boys team at Warley Rangers.

Playing with and against boys gave me a good foundation to build on my football career which culminated in signing my first professional contract with Manchester United in 2018.

Our season finished in mid May but I had to keep training as I had Scotland games in June. After a few weeks rest I have been following a fitness programme so that when I got back in to club pre season it wouldn’t be such a shock to the body.

This week is my first week back at training for pre season. As I had Scotland camp in June I’ve come back for pre season a bit later than others. I’ve been itching to get back to training. I didn’t sleep much the night before my first session, it felt like Christmas Day the next day.

It was great to see my team mates, the coaching staff again & meet the new players. They’re like my second family as I see them more than my actual family during the season. In my free time I’ve been keeping up with the olympics, especially the women’s football as I’ve got a few team mates and ex team mates playing out there so that’s nice to see them doing well.

My first day back was a day of various medical tests and collecting our new kit. We got so much kit which is one bonus of being a professional footballer.

I’m feeling fit to say it’s the early stages of pre season which I’m glad about after working hard on different aspects of my game over the off season. This week has been mostly about getting touches on the ball again & getting familiar with the team again so it’s been fun. The DOM’s aren’t so nice but it’ll be worth it!

Competition for places always get higher each season so my main aim is always to be better than last season. I’m excited to keep you updated on how we do in our upcoming pre season games. Our season starts the weekend of the 5/6 September against Reading so that’ll be a tough but exciting start. I’ve also got World Cup qualifiers for Scotland a few weeks after the season has started, so my main aim is to get as sharp as I can between now and then to get selected for the squad.

In my next column I will be able to update you on our pre season games.