Getting to Know is Back, and today we interview Blackburn Rovers and Northern Ireland Ladies Midfielder, Lynda Shepherd!
One of our most popular segments is back and running, with an exclusive interview getting the ball rolling!
Tenacious Northern Ireland and Blackburn Rovers Ladies midfielder Lynda Shepherd steps up to the plate for us here on Vital Blackburn.
Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Lynda Shepherd, I’m 29 years old, I play as a Central Midfielder for Blackburn Rovers Ladies and am a Northern Ireland International. I was previously at Blackburn for 5 years, then moved on to play in the Women’s Super League for Liverpool Ladies and Manchester City. I have returned to Blackburn this season.
When were you first spotted by Blackburn Rovers and how has your career unfolded to date! Was football always the dream?
I joined Blackburn Rovers in 2005 for 5 seasons. Andy McNally was the manager at the time. We had a fantastic squad and a successful few years. I then moved onto the Super League where I played for Liverpool for 2 seasons and Manchester City for 1 Season. Football is always something I have lived for, hence why I left to play at a higher level (In the Super League). I was also playing International Football (Northern Ireland) too so at the time I felt like it was the best thing to do for my career.
Football wise, what is the dream/ambition?
My ambition in football now I’m a little older is always try to be the best I can be. I have to work that extra mile as the younger ones are breathing down my neck after my shirt!! I want to help Blackburn get back to being one of the best and most respected teams in the FAWPL.
What is the goal for the remainder of the season with a few Premier League North fixtures as well as the Lancs Challenge Cup remaining?
The goal for the reminder of the season is to finish as high as possible in the league. We are just trying to win 1 game at the time and see what happens at the end of the season. As a group we are happy with how we have performed so far in the league as this is our 1st season together. A lot of new faces joined in the summer and we have now built a unique bond between us. We also have the Lancashire cup final against Morecambe next week which we will be looking to win.
What is it like to play for a Premier League outfit?
Playing for Blackburn makes me happy I am very grateful. We have a great team, all the girls are great and work extremely hard for the common goal. We always want to improve and never give up, it’s nice to be a apart of. The facilities are second to none at the academy where we train. I’ve trained in some good facilities and Blackburn is up there with the best. We have a great backroom staff behind us, always pushing us and everybody chips in.
How many training sessions are involved during a regular week?
We train twice a week as a team, but I’m in the gym also 3 times a week. As I said previously Im getting on a bit now so I have to do extra to make sure I can keep up with the youngsters! Haha!
Favourite footballing moment?
I have two favourite footballing moments. The first was winning my 1st game for Northern Ireland. Another was winning the old Northern Premier League with Blackburn when I was there in my first stint! Hopefully I’ll have a few more before I stop playing.
Outside of football, what are your hobbies/interests!
Well when I’m not playing football I like to watch it! Ha. Apart from football I like to spend time with my family and friends. I love eating out, far too much actually. I’m also a bit of a film buff so I like the cinema and just relaxing and watching films.
If you were not a footballer, what would you be?
I coach 16-19 year old girls at a college in Manchester. So a Football Coach!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where and why?
I’m not really a massive traveller, I’m a bit of a home girl. So I don’t really have anywhere in particular, I do love going on holiday though as long as there is a beach and some sun Im happy.
I love eating so I have a few, but my favourite meal ever is my mums sausage, mash and onion gravy! Ha. I do love eating out tho as I said, so I like to try different restaurants.
Words of advice for the young budding female footballers hoping to follow in your footsteps?
I would say to any young girl wanting to be a footballer- You have to work hard, nothing comes easy. Always try and improve your weaknesses and listen to what people tell you. Follow your coaches advice, listen to your senior players! That’s what I did.
A massive thank you to Lynda for her time. We wish you all the best for the remainder of the season and hope to see you lift the Lancashire Cup for Blackburn! To keep up with the Blackburn Rovers Ladies outfit, follow @RoversLadies on Twitter, as well as @lynshep4 for Lynda!
Stay tuned to see who will appear next on Getting to Know!