Saturday’s game against Tonbridge Angels saw Alicia Adams feature in our matchday programme. For those who missed it, here is the full article:

Alicia Adams is one of a few central midfielders within the Dartford FC Women’s squad, one of which is her wife and Captain, Lizzie Adams. You all know that the couple celebrated their wedding during the off-season of course, but what you may not know is that the number fourteen is a vital cog in Connor Dymond’s Dartford FC Women’s machine.

Despite the competition for places within the squad, Alicia is just enjoying playing and taking every opportunity when it comes. “It can be hard juggling working shifts and playing football sometimes, but it makes time on the pitch even more rewarding to be honest. The standard is really high within the team” she continues, “…so getting into the starting eleven is competitive. But the vibe is really good, and everyone supports each other. We’re all wanting to win the league this season, and also want to win as many trophies as possible!”

As our discussion continues, Alicia reveals what she does for a living outside of the sport, “I’m a Police Officer.” Oh! I remind myself that I must be on my best behaviour as she continues, “I work full-time in the Metropolitan Police. I’m on the response team, which essentially means we respond to 999 calls. It can be quite intense, so football is actually a great way to focus on something completely different.”

If she didn’t have your respect before, Alicia certainly deserves it now. I ask her if she has time for anything else in her life! “Well, I live in South-East London with my wife Lizzie. If I’m not working or playing football, I’m spending time around home. I love going for walks and being outside… usually with a coffee! I also love the beach, as I grew up near the coast in Dorset. I love to go back and visit as often as possible.”

Since we’ve touched on the subject, Alicia reveals where her footballing career began. Growing up in beautiful Dorset meant that she joined Broadstone Girls FC, where she played for many years. She also turned out for a few other local sides during this period as well, before moving on to Exeter University. While a student there, she featured for the first team before moving to London. “I joined London Corinthians FC after moving in 2016. They went on to rebrand themselves a couple of times before linking up with and becoming Dartford FC Women.”

Alicia was just nine years old when she first started playing for Broadstone. Unlike some though, she was lucky that there were enough girls who joined the boys’ team, before being able to create a girls’ team. Before that though, “I got into football just by playing with friends at school and neighbours when I was little.”

Returning to the present day, Alicia is optimistic yet aware of limitations both on and off the pitch, “I suppose it’s a balancing act for all of us. We don’t get paid to play on an individual basis, so we all have full-time jobs that we must balance with training and matches. However, it is great to see that more and more players, including some in the tier above us, are getting paid to play now, either professionally or semi-professionally.”

Surely the recent success of the Lionesses will help to improve opportunities within the Women’s game as well. With that squad proving to be an inspiration to the current young girls coming through, I ask Alicia if she holds anybody as an inspiration herself? “Yes… when I was young, I always admired Rachel Yankey, an England and Arsenal legend. She was a fast, exciting, and hard-working player, and she became a household name when not many female players were recognised generally.”

As Alicia reflects on Rachel’s achievements, I take the opportunity to ask her if she has any favourite memories of her own footballing career so far, “We played Aylesford in May last year in the delayed 2020 Kent Cup Final. We won 3-1 and I scored our second goal. It was a half-volley, which went in over the goalie! It felt great, as we’d beaten third-tier Gillingham to get to that final and we’d been waiting a long time to play it!”

Outside of football and work, Alicia enjoys running on a leisurely basis. However, she also enjoys doing long park runs and has completed a few half-marathons and 10Km races in her time. She admits that she’d like to get back into the more competitive style of running but is currently enjoying her time with Lizzie as well as getting outside as much as possible. As she said earlier, she loves walking, but also likes going to historical places such as those within the National Trust. She believes that good things come to those who treat others well, and holds a blue belt in Judo… “I used to do Judo and reached that level but had to give it up when I was at university unfortunately. Trying to manage studying, working, and football was more than enough to manage at the time! I’d love to take it up again one day, but I’m not sure I can remember much of it anymore!”

As for now, Alicia is looking forward to the rest of the current season. She’s excited for where the team is going, believing that “We’ve taken a big step up this season. Everyone has the right attitude and we’re all trying to boost our fitness levels and fine-tune our game. I hope that we can inspire the next generation of Dartford girls’ players, just as I’m sure the Women’s Euros has inspired them!”

And as our conversation comes to an end, Alicia finishes with this, “We are so grateful for all the support we get from the fans. It’s great to see that we now have people coming just because they enjoy watching us play or enjoy women’s football in general. It’s not just immediate friends and family of us players anymore. Having more fans here creates such a good atmosphere and I think it’s pushed our performances up another level. We will continue to try and win games and make it entertaining for everyone who comes to watch.”

By Chris Palmer