PHOTO CREDIT: ROB WILKINS
Katy Hosford: Scoring a goal for the Swans is a feeling I can’t describe.
At just 18 years-old, Katy Hosford is already making a mark on both club and international level.
Hosford plays her club level football for Swansea City Ladies, competing in the Welsh Women’s Premier League, where the game has grown massively since she first started competing. The talented striker was invited to the Wales regional training day at the tender age of just 13 and has gone on to represent her country at U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels.
In an exclusive interview with Women’s Soccer United, Katy talks about what it is like to play for Swansea City Ladies, the challenge of their upcoming USA tour, how it feels to represent her country and what her ambitions are for the future.
Women’s Soccer United: You have been playing football since you were 8-years old – Who or what inspired you to take up the sport?
Katy Hosford: I used to take every opportunity I had to play football, in the school yard with the boys, in the street after school. I was never interested in netball, it was always football. I was possibly the biggest tomboy back then.
WSU: Swansea City Ladies are heading to America for a pre-season tour in June. What appeals to you the most about this challenge and how do you think it will benefit the squad ahead of the new season?
KH: I think the fact that we get the opportunity to challenge ourselves against top teams and players is great. I believe we have the ability within our squad to compete in high level games and it will give us an insight to where we are as a team and what we need to improve on for the upcoming season.
WSU: Can you describe what it is like to be a member of Swansea City Ladies, typical training regime, what’s the current mood within the squad?
KH: I couldn’t picture myself with a better bunch of girls and coaching staff. Everyone is so friendly and down to earth, we are like a family. We are all focused when it comes to the serious stuff, but the banter within the squad is great. We train on Wednesdays and Fridays to prepare for our game on the Sunday.
WSU: You play as a midfielder and have netted five times this season (3 in the league, 2 in the FAW Women’s Cup), what would you say is the best goal you have scored to date?
KH: Probably in the Welsh Cup Final last year. Scoring a goal for the Swans is a feeling I can’t describe, whether it’s in a game where we are winning comfortably, or a cup final. But to grab two goals in such a massive game felt surreal and to top it off was lifting the trophy with a great bunch of girls.
WSU: You have represented Wales and have 25 caps at U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels. Could you describe how the opportunity to represent your country came about, did you attend trials, were you scouted?
KH: I used to attend the West Wales Development Centre, where my current coach Ian used to train us. I remember he rang my dad to tell him that I had been invited to the Wales regional training day in Treforest. I was only 13 at the time and it was so unexpected. I just used to love being around a football 24/7 and I never thought I would get the opportunity to represent my country. After a few of the trainings days I was invited to training camps, then chosen in the squad to play in international friendlies and tournaments, it all developed from there really.
WSU: How valuable is the experiences of playing in youth international tournaments and qualifiers such as the UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship?
KH: Massively. Being part of the squad teaches you so much, not just about football but life in general. You learn to manage yourself independently and stay away from home at a young age. Not only was it a physical challenge but also a mental test. I feel that by going through the different age groups, it has given me experience and allowed me to develop as a player by playing against top teams such as England and Italy. I’ve gained some of the best memories from playing for Wales and most certainly made friends for life.
WSU: Do you have any role models currently playing? If yes, how do they inspire you?
KH: There are many people that I look up to and wish to be like as I get older. One person in particular is Rachel Rowe who used to play for the Swans. Around two years ago, she was playing in the Welsh Prem, now she’s on form as a professional footballer for Reading Ladies. I think she’s an example that if you work hard enough and really want something, then it is achievable.
PHOTO CREDIT: ROB WILKINS
WSU: How has women’s football progressed in Wales at club and international level since you first started playing and how can it still improve?
KH: I think it’s grown massively! Female participation in football has grown loads over the years and will only continue to grow. The competition is higher, more girls are coming through to the senior teams and challenging for their position in the squad. Obviously it can still improve, I think that having more media coverage will help. England did a great job at this when they grabbed third place in the World Cup. They raised the bar for females’ football and showed people that girls can play.
WSU: How would you characterise your style of play?
KH: I think I’m quite a direct player that likes to take on players. I don’t feel like I’ve had a good game unless I’m exhausted by the end of it, I never like to leave the pitch feeling that I have more to give. Also, an assist to me is like scoring a goal. The buzz that I get from both is the same, so it’s always a bonus if I can provide the pass or cross for one of the girls to score off.
WSU: At 18 years-old you are still only young. What are your goals and ambitions for the future?
KH: I just want to develop myself as a player and progress to the highest possible level I can. I want to push myself to levels I didn’t think I could and challenge myself week in, week out. Also, having achieved Welsh caps at all youth levels, gaining a senior cap would be the icing on the cake. Putting on the Welsh shirt is a great feeling, and to be able to wear it for the seniors would be amazing.
The WSU Team bringing you news and updates from the world of women’s football.