Kitty Burne // GOAL DIGGERS FC

7/3/2018 /

Favourite team and player?

I don’t follow league football too closely anymore because I’d rather spend my time playing. However, I love to go with my teammates to watch the Lionesses, especially during tournaments. Fran Kirby is probably my favourite player, she’s scored some very impressive goals and always brings a bit of sparkle to the match.

What was the response like to the Kickstarter campaign?

GDFC has had an incredible Kickstarter campaign. There is an astounding amount of work that goes on behind the scenes by very dedicated team mates. The club has grown at an astounding rate and it’s so refreshing to see up to 50 women and non-binary people from across London attend training.

How is the team doing?

GDFC are a mixed ability team and we compete in 5, 7, 9 and 11 a-side competitions. Last time I checked I think we were top or second of the 11-aside league and we have 3 teams competing in a weekly 5 a-side tournament too.

GDFC’s real success is in two ways: the first is how many women show up each week and continue to play with a smile on their face; the second is the rate of improvement especially among beginners. There are some girls who only started playing a year or so ago and are already key figures in our squad.

How important do you think it is that non-binary language is used in pro football?

I’m a big fan of non-binary language being used in everyday life anyway, but I know it’s tricky when sports are divided into ‘men’ and ‘women’ competitions.

When people ask if I play “women’s football”, I say “no, I play football, it’s the exact same sport”.

What more do you think clubs and brands should be doing?

There’s a lot that needs to be done, the vast majority of sport shown on TV is men’s sport, although women’s sport is becoming increasingly popular, it still is no where near equal.

There have also been some good campaigns by big clubs, for example QPR women and juniors to promote LGBT+, especially in grassroots football. These types of campaigns and awareness should also be involved in the Professional men’s leagues too.

The Euros drove a lot of interest in the women’s game. How would you describe the scene right now?

There is definitely a growing movement for women’s football and that’s fantastic. The great thing about GDFC is that it welcomes people of all abilities so a lot of adults are starting to learn how to play because it might have been less accessible or less common for them as a kid.

There is a big crossover between football culture and fashion, how important is that to you?

The football fashion crossover is a part of my identify, I’ve always dressed as a ‘tom boy’, probably because I wanted to wear the same thing that the boys I was playing with when I was 10 were wearing. I don’t feel as comfortable in particularly feminine clothes and some girls on my team dress in a similar way. Of course there are other girls who leave the football kit on the pitch and don’t portray it as part of their identity. Either way is great.

What are your passions outside of the game?

I’m currently studying for a law degree and hoping to go into immigration law. I also do lots of pilates and yoga (which I’ve found has helped to prevent injuries), and I’m teaching myself the piano too. I’ve got quite a few female friends who do stand up and I love going to watch that, I’ve sometimes thought I should give that a try at some point!

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