Verge meets: Izzy Christiansen

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Isobel Christiansen of England skips past the tackle of Lidija Kulis of Bosnia during the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Qualifier between England Women and Bosnia Women at Ashton Gate on November 29, 2015 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Last year was a huge year for woman’s football, and I was lucky enough to catch up with one of England’s most promising female footballers Izzy Christiansen! Playing for Man City and winning the converted award PFA 2016 Players Player of the Year were just a few of the things we had a chat about!

Congratulations on winning Woman’s Player’s Player of the year at the 2016 PFA awards, this is a very important accolade for you, so what are your sights set on for the future?
I want to win trophies with England and Manchester City.  This year, I want to be successful and healthy and achieve things at the Euros and in the FA WSL Spring Series.

The USA seems a little more forward thinking on woman’s football especially when it comes to sponsorship and endorsements of its players, with the likes of Carli Lloyd agreeing one of the biggest woman’s football deals with Nike. Is this something you would like to see happen in the UK?
I think we’re a little bit a way off the US but with anything we have to realistic of where we are at.  The commercial side of the game has to complement where the game is at on the pitch.  There is no point it being further ahead.  As players, we need to perform on the field and the rest will follow.

Speaking of Carli Lloyd, she’s now a team mate having joined Man City for the 2017 season, what impact has her arrival had on the team? What is she like as a teammate?
I’m really looking forward to playing Carli and learning from her, she’s been World Player of the Year two years running and it’ll be great to have her at Manchester City.

Having achieved such a lot and still being only 25, what would you say is your career highlight to date?
Making my England debut against Estonia last year and scoring was a massive moment for me.  I also didn’t expect to win the PFA award at all, but it was a huge confidence booster and is the level I want to consistently work towards.

There is still an obvious divide on woman and men’s football, but would you say the divide is getting smaller?
In terms of fanbase and attendances the gap is still there but it is getting smaller.  As players our responsibility is to work hard and improve the quality of the game and win trophies and that will drive interest and awareness.

Where would you like to see woman’s football in five years time?
Stadiums that are fuller, the England national team creating a legacy and taking the country to the next level of women’s football, and the domestic league bigger and better with the gap between the top and bottom teams smaller.

What else is happening for Izzy Christiansen that we should be watching out for?
For me, this year is all about football.

 

Watch England take on Italy on Friday 7th April and Austria on Monday 10th April in their Euro’s send-off games ahead of this summer’s tournament. You can join the conversation using #Lionesses and for more information visit thefa.com/England

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