You’ve read the title right.
I dream of working for England.
No, I don’t want to be a lawyer bringing justice for the average English citizen and I don’t want to be a police officer, working for Her Majesty to protect the country we call home.
I want to work with the England football team – travelling across the globe with the Three Lions. Maybe I’ll even help them to bring it home (FINALLY!)
I know what you’re thinking, “Who is this GIRL wanting to work with the biggest football team in our country?” I’ve heard it all before and, if I’m perfectly honest, I’ve thought 95% of it about myself, too. Like, really Alice, do you even understand football? (The answer is always a resounding, “Yes, so just shut up doubting Deborah!”)
As a female football fan, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of judgement over the years (primarily from men who are ‘intimidated’ by me, although, women can be just as bad): from mansplaining the offside rule to just having my opinions ignored completely in conversations – I have had it all and, let me tell you, it has made its mark. I have certainly cried myself to sleep at night a few times because I have felt so utterly ridiculous for dreaming that I could possibly work alongside some of the brightest stars in English football.
But why shouldn’t I get to live my dream and work with the crème de la crème? Because I’m a woman and I should just stick to ‘something a bit easier’, ‘a bit more feminine’? Why in 2021 do we still feel the need to mould ourselves into shapes that were cut out hundreds of years ago?
I grew up never really knowing that I ‘couldn’t’ do anything that someone else could. I was taught to stand tall in my lanky body and be proud of all the knowledge I had. Growing up with two brothers meant that I just knew football from being small so, why couldn’t I go on to work with England just like I knew they could if they decided to.
However, as I have matured, I have encountered so many small-minded and misogynistic people who have put me down for holding on to my dreams. A lot of those people are settling for what they think they can and should do in life so, to me their opinion isn’t much of an issue but, I understand that for others those opinions would make them crumble in doubt.
My question to those who doubt me is just, “Why should I limit myself to a box that you want to place me in?”
If I am good enough at the job that I choose to do in the future, then I will command the respect of those I work with – whether I have a penis or not. My worth is no longer dictated by my reproductive organs as it would have been in the past.
My high school had an onsite football academy that trained up young footballers from around the world and it was a great opportunity for me to see and study with the future football players I hope to be working with.
I can categorically say that I was never once dismissed by any of those academy players in class because of my gender. They understood that I was determined to be the best at whatever I wanted to put my mind to, and they acknowledged that I knew what I was talking about (specifically when discussing football).
It is these guys who I have spent time with – along with others who continue to support every decision I make – who give me faith that my dreams will become a reality; helping me understand that as long as I work hard, I will manage whatever I put my mind to. Because when a group have a desire to win, it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you’re working to reach that goal.
Therefore, I say, so what if I’m a woman and want to work in football? Who are you to tell me that I cannot make it?
So, yes, I dream of working for England and I won’t stop until I get there.
Words by: Alice Mason
Edited by: Dasha Pitts-Yushchenko