Playing for Arsenal Women was dream for Bailey
- Credit: PA
Jade Bailey is another example of the ever successful Arsenal Women’s youth academy, having come through the ranks of the club.
Now 24, the versatile midfielder admits it was a dream to represent the Gunners in the early part of her career.
Bailey said: “Arsenal are the team I’ve supported from a child, so to play for them was a dream.
“Walking out each game you always got a good feeling that you were playing for the club and the fans.”
Bailey has been a real stalwart in the Women’s Super League, playing for Arsenal, Chelsea, Reading and now Liverpool.
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She has lifted the FA Cup on two occasions with Arsenal, starting the 2014 final when the Gunners defeated Everton 2-0 at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes.
Kelly Smith scored a sublime free-kick and Japanese international Yukari Kinga picked the right time to score her first goal for the club to end Shelly Kerr’s Arsenal reign with a trophy.
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Speaking about her emotions after that final, Bailey added: “It was an amazing feeling as I played in every game leading up to it, so you got a real sense of being a part of it.
“Also the FA Cup is one of the best trophies to win domestically so playing in front of your friends and family and lifting the trophy was overwhelming. Most definitely a highlight of my career so far.”
As well as winning two FA Cups in North London, Bailey also collected two Continental Cup winner’s medals in a successful spell at the club.
Talking about how her move to Arsenal came about, Bailey said: “I signed for Arsenal when I was 11 as I had to stop playing with the boys’ team I was representing. Once you got to the age of 12 it wasn’t allowed.”
As for what she learnt during her time at Arsenal Bailey said: ”I think just learning from some of the best players in the world, training with them day in and day out and being able to get advice from them moulded me into the player I am today.”
Discussing how she actually got into football in the first place, Bailey added: “I started playing at the age of six for my dad’s football club called Interwood.
“They used to run soccer schools most weekends and throughout summer. They didn’t have enough numbers one weekend so they needed me to join in and my journey into football started from there.”
Bailey can also play in defence and has already experienced the ups and downs of football as she suffered an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury in April 2017, but has returned back better than ever.
Talking about her highlight of the 2019-20 season at Liverpool she said: “The highlight this season was being able to play at Anfield in the Merseyside derby in front of 28,000 people.
“The support from the fans was amazing and just playing at such a historic stadium is something I will never forget.”
Bailey has also represented her country, featuring for England at the Under-20 World Cup in Canada before being selected for the ‘Next Gen’ squad.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic Bailey was asked how she was keeping herself active at the moment and explained: “We have all been sent individual fitness programmes to help maintain our fitness.
“I was lucky enough to get a spin bike and some weights sent out to me which has been great. There’s also some good live workouts which I have been doing to help mix things up.”
As for her hopes and aspirations for Liverpool in the future, Bailey said: “We didn’t have the best start to the season so now it’s just about getting some points on the board. Liverpool are such a huge club and we have the belief and quality in the squad to do so.”
Being a young player herself and coming up through the ranks of one of the best academies in world football, Bailey was asked what advice she could offer to young players who want to follow in her footsteps.
“Train how you want to play,” she said. ”Things won’t come to you if you don’t work hard, so make sure you do extras whatever that may be to help you improve as a player.
“Be willing to listen and learn off people around you. Always believe in yourself and your ability, some people will doubt you but make sure you prove them wrong.”