Since coming along to a Tranmere Rovers girls’ football session aged six, Jess Durr has progressed through all of the age groups to go on to play for the Women’s First Team.
Ahead of International Women’s Day 2023, following interviews with Head of Women’s and Girls’ Football Louise Edwards and Rovers fan of 75 years Audrey Evans, as well as our Her Game Too Ambassadors Hannah Naylor and Phil Bryan, there’s no one better to sit down with about first-hand experience of the current pathway from girls to women’s football here at Tranmere Rovers than Jess, who has come through all of it.
Since the Lionesses’ success at the 2021 Euros, many young girls have taken up football and come along to our Wildcats sessions, all with the dream of making it all the way of making it through to the first team.
Jess, 18, has done just that, and has certainly not forgotten her roots, coming along to visit the group at our Girls Only Turn Up and Play Football session this week, where she sits down with us in the same Recreation Centre she turned up to herself twelve years ago.
Jess’ Tranmere Rovers journey
“I came down to the development centre when I was six and I’ve still got mates from then! I made my way up through under-10s, under-12s, under-14s, and now into the First Team, and I think the development at the club is really good,” she tells us.
Jess has said that Louise Edwards and Tranmere Rovers in the Community’s Faye Jones have had a massive influence on her career so far. “Louise and Faye have definitely been influential. You’re watching the First Team, always. I remember when I was young, I went to watch the First Team, and wanted to be them!”
She says that Tranmere’s provision for women and girls offers something different to other clubs. “I think it’s really good development and inclusiveness. It really developed me to focus on the basics which is passing, I feel like that’s something other clubs don’t do.”
England Lionesses’ impact on women’s football
Jess attributes part of the increase in participation in girls’ football to the Lionesses’ aforementioned success, and believes the standard has raised considerably as a result, noticeable from visiting the session this week.
“Watching the girls today, I feel like they’re a different level to what I was at that age! There are more clubs, leagues, I was playing with lads at their age and it was good, but now the girls are wanting to get involved and it’s not just a men’s sport any more, it’s both.”
You can watch Jess’ full interview with us on our YouTube channel below: