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  My Diary: Footballer
Updated 01 August 2002, 16.12
England under 17 footballer Nicole
Hi everyone, my name's Nicole, I'm 16 and I'm a footballer.

I play for Arsenal and England under 17s. I'm also going to Loughborough University on a three-year national football scholarship.

But it's not just football I'm good at, as I also play hockey for England under 16s.

This is my diary.

27 June - 8 July
I travelled to Holland to play in an international hockey tournament. It was really hard work because we were playing five matches in six days.

England did really well to qualify from the first pool to get into the second pool that decided the medals, but that didn't go so well.

We lost to both Holland and Germany, but because we qualified for the top pool we still won the bronze medal, which was great.

It was a brilliant few days. We got to play Holland on the big stadium pitch in front of loads of fans - the crowd was massive.

All the fans were great at the closing ceremony where they played loads of music while they gave away the prizes, it was a brilliant atmosphere.

16 July - 23 July

After a week off it was time to go off on another tour, this time with my other sport - football.

I met up with the rest of the under 17 squad in the evening to travel to Lilleshall, where we were going to do lots of training and then play the British Universities women's team.

The under 17s national coach Jane Ebbage definitely put us through our paces, as she tried to get us used to training every day.

It's important to get used to because I'm starting a three-year national football scholarship at Loughborough University later this year, where I'll be playing about two and a half hours of football every day.

I'll also be doing some lessons, working towards an Advanced GNVQ and an A/S level, although I haven't decided what subject to do yet.

Back at Lilleshall we trained before and after lunch for three days before a day off on the Friday to rest before the big game.

We played really well against the University team, especially because they were bigger than we all are.

I played on the right wing and up front but didn't score. It was a really good game because they played a different style of football to us, forcing us to play down the wings rather than through the middle.

We took the lead twice but couldn't hold onto it, but I reckon we'd have beaten them if we'd been as fit as they were, but that'll get better when we start the scholarships.


Find out how Nicole gets on in next month's diary, when she'll have been in trials for Arsenal Ladies' reserve team and have moved to Loughborough to start her football course.

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