IMG 20220924 WA0000 | Dartford Living

Saturday’s game against Hampton & Richmond Borough saw Adele Pearce feature in our matchday programme. For those who missed it, here is the full article:

Midfielder, Adele Pearce, is what she likes to call “one of the originals…” at Dartford FC Women. Yet, this extremely busy mum of two proved a little difficult to sit down and chat to… but we got there eventually, as she revealed a glimpse into her private life and what makes her tick.

As you listen to Adele speak, it becomes immediately apparent that football and family are her life. And, the fact that she’s had two children within three years explains why she’s been so busy!

In 2018 she married her husband, before giving birth to Mason a year later. Then, last year saw the family unit increased to a foursome with the birth of Daisy. This has meant that, apart from seeing close friends and family, Adele’s off-season was spent looking after the kids which she admits is lovely.

Besides being a full-time mum, Adele is also a Postie in Orpington… “The best female Postie in Orpington…!” It’s a position she’s held for over ten years, despite the job originally being a stop-gap in-between her finishing university. And, considering that she likes to get up before the sun comes up, the job is perfect, “I’m an early bird. I love to be out walking on my own and I’m still only 32, so have plenty of years left in me. Yeah, that’s me… a Postie by day, a full-time mum by night… which should be a paid position!”

As her addictive sense of humour shines through once again, it is apparent that Adele has a more serious, quiet side as well. Her daily life is centred around her husband and their young family. But, when time allows, she does like to sit quietly with a book or go out into the garden and play football. She’s currently on maternity leave, so her time is certainly family orientated.

Having said that, this humble woman confesses that she’s a football fanatic. And, when she talks about her upbringing, you soon realise why… “Dad was born on Fulham Broadway and, because of him, I’ve always been an avid Chelsea fan. Dad (Richard Keech) was and always will be my number one inspiration. He was a good footballer. He didn’t have much height, but he was a very food centre-half, who could pick a pass and play a great long-ball.”

Having been born into a football family, it wasn’t long before Adele was kicking a ball herself… “Dad’s got pictures of me kicking a ball when I first started walking!” In fact, a young Adele loved football so much that she loved playing the sport during her lunch-break at school so much that her teacher “…actually told my parents that I wouldn’t pass my 11+ unless I showed more concern about doing my work than finding out who’s team I was in at lunch-time!”

Realising how good his daughter was, Adele’s dad found a clipping in the NewsShopper for London Girls and asked if she wanted to go. The rest, as the say, is history… “The best 22 years of my life.” And, that is where the journey began for Adele and those originals. From that day onwards, when she was just 10-years old, she met Jade Charlton and Emily Vaughan… a group who’d soon become an inseparable foursome as Georgie Davis joined up later.

That London Girls U13 side was the best team at the time, and they went on to win the league and the cup. That inspired Adele to push on and play better. Upon reflection, however, she does wish she’d taken the sport more seriously at the time and gone on to have a trial at a higher level. But she also wouldn’t change the way things have turned out and she has shown tremendous dedication and loyalty to remain at London Girls/Dartford FC Women.

She reflects fondly about the times spent with Jade, Emily, and Georgie. They’re the longest serving players within the current group and all started off a Southwood Road at the age of ten. They had a great time together during an era where, “It was more of a cup of tea and a Mars bar before the game, whereas today it’s a protein bar and a banana!” She does miss the times when her and Jade would go and watch Connor (Dymond) play football and enjoy a few beers together afterwards. Yet, she loves the current group of players and, despite only having a select few of extremely close friends, thinks the group are a close unit. However, “…some on the team are serving Police Officers, so I don’t break the law around them!”

With her main hobby obviously being football, Adele saw the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard as big role models. She hopes to live by their example, both as players and good people. She also believes that you get out of life what you put in it, and lives by that motto. Her favourite goal that she’s scored is the one where she “banged in a volley to win 1-0 at Bexhill”, while the best goal she’s ever seen was “Lizzie’s header against Gillingham in the semi-final of the League Cup. It was a Captain’s goal, a leader’s goal.” Meanwhile, Adele’s favourite moment was when Dartford FC Women travelled to eventual league winners Crystal Palace… “…we matched them on the pitch in every way, and beat them.”

Returning to the present, Adele really wants to get back into Connor Dymond’s starting eleven. However, after being somewhat out of action for three years, she admits that she lacks both general and match fitness. She does, though, believe that the team must “…set the bar high and aim for it.” Afterall, “We have the resources, the manager, the team, and a Chairman who is completely behind us.” With the supporters behind them, she believes that the team must push on and win the league this season… “It won’t always be pretty, but we have to be gritty and win the games.”

Adele would also love to win the Kent Senior Cup again, as all the girls really love the tournament. She’d also like to go further in the prestigious FA Cup, but is fully aware of the team’s limitations as far as the tournament is concerned.

On a more personal note, she just wants her friends and family to be healthy and happy. She’d like all of us to look after each other and to dream big. Adele would also like Mason and Daisy to know that she always has their backs and, “…be whoever they want to be and to be the best at what they can be. There are no limits in life.” She’d also like to be mortgage-free next year, but says that’s not going to happen!

It has been a pleasure listening to Adele and absorbing her sense of humour while hearing about her life. I’ll let her have the final words… “I’d like to say thank you to the Dartford fans. Thank you for supporting such a great club. I believe that the club as a whole is really going somewhere. Everyone in the women’s team would really like more fans to come and support us. Bring your Grandchildren and give their parents a break! Come, watch football, enjoy a burger and a beer. Get involved, cheer us on. Every little bit of money helps us with the necessary equipment, etc…, but it’s not about the money. It’s about getting people through the gate. We want to inspire girls to get involved in football. We want to help create more pathways into the women’s first team and to inspire women to play at a higher level. With your support, we can bring success to the club as a whole.”

By Chris Palmer