I recently sat down in conversation with Dartford FC Women’s Captain Lizzie Adams.
The written article was published in the club’s Matchday Programme for the fixure against Havant & Waterlooville at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. For those unable to attend the game, here is the full article:
Lizzie Adams is an essential member of the Dartford FC Women’s team. Not only does she wear the Captain’s armband, but she sits in the midfield and, wearing the coveted number seven shirt, has a vital role in the team’s engine room in more ways than one.
With football being one of her biggest interests, Lizzie grew up following the exploits of her beloved Arsenal. And, naming such greats as Rachel Yankee and Thierry Henry as inspirations, was always going to end up in the sport in some capacity.
It all began when she’d spend hours playing football with her older brother. And, with her best friend also playing, there was no doubt in a young Lizzie’s mind of what she wanted to do in her free time.
As she thinks back fondly, she’s quick to quote that, “…my brother says that he made me as I am as a footballer… but, I like to think it’s the other way round!” A statement that shows that Lizzie has been blessed with a terrific sense of humour together with her skills as a footballer.
Growing up, Lizzie played frequently for her local team. However, when she reached the age of ten, like most young girls at the time, she was hit with a devastating blow… she was no longer “allowed” to play football anymore! But, Lizzie is a fighter and, “…I then did a couple of years at an Oxfordshire Excellence Centre. But, that finished and there weren’t any clubs near to me that I could get to, so I stopped playing. Yet, I started football again at Exeter University, where I played for the first team for 4 years.”
She then moved to France, where she played for a team called R. C. Flacé. When she moved back to London, she joined London Girls FC, which would become the Dartford Women’s team.
But, what about outside of football? Despite the sport predominantly entertaining her mind, Lizzie does indeed have a life and career outside of Dartford FC Women.
She’s a project manager for a charity that works to improve democracy, “…we support and advocate for members of the public to have a say over decisions that affect their lives.”
Lizzie is also very close to her family, who live in the Cotswolds. She loves spending time with them and with her “lovely little nephews, who are under 3 and highly entertaining! I’m hoping they’ll soon start playing football with me too…” because, “…Football has always been one of my biggest interests, including trying to get better at Fantasy Football…!”
She also plays tennis and is, “a little bit musical too.” She’s also the Chair of Trustees for a small charity called RefugeeYouth that “has been a big part of my life for the past 5 years”. The charity delivers fun arts and sports opportunities for young refugees and asylum seekers in South London.
On top of all that, Lizzie grew up on a farm, so also knows how to drive a tractor! One’s beginning to wonder if there’s anything the Captain cannot do…!
During the off-season, Lizzie thoroughly enjoyed watching the England Lionesses win the Euros, and was “lucky enough to have tickets for the Final at Wembley, which was incredible. The England team was phenomenal and incredibly inspiring. It’s made all of us so motivated for this season.”
However, that wasn’t the only reason for Lizzie to celebrate during the off-season, because she also got married to the love of her life Alicia. And, seeing as her new wife is also her midfield partner in the Dartford FC Women’s side, it was only natural for the entire team to celebrate alongside the happy couple to help make the wedding an extra special occasion.
Returning to the field, Lizzie has many fond memories. She has experienced many wonderful moments with her teammates, including lifting a few trophies. However, her favourite personal moment has to be when she scored from a header to send Gillingham crashing out of the Kent Cup Semi-Final. It was particularly special for her, as Gillingham were two leagues above the Darts!
As for the new season ahead, Lizzie believes that “…this year is our year to win the league. We’ve been building over the past couple of seasons, and are now set up to give it everything this year. Our target is to get further in the FA Cup too, and get as many people down to our games as possible.”
“We also plan to support the Dartford Girls’ teams, by joining some of their sessions, providing mascot opportunities, and generally supporting them as much as we can.”
And, for the longer term, Lizzie “hopes that no girl growing up ever gets told they’re not allowed to play football because they’re a girl. I hope there will be equal investment and interest in football to make sure everyone gets the choice to play if they would like to. And, I really hope that people can get as much enjoyment and fun out of football as the millions watching the Euros did this Summer!”
As Lizzie is a natural leader both off and on the pitch, I’ll let her have the final word: “Thank you for all the support we’ve seen from the amazing fans at the club. You have welcomed us into the club, and every single fan that comes to watch a game means the world to us. Please do come down to one of our matches if you haven’t watched us before too, we’d love to see you there! UP THE DARTS!”
By Chris Palmer