Who is Siobhan Chamberlain?
Siobhan Chamberlain is an English female International football goalkeeper, currently playing her club football for Bristol Academy. Chamberlain played for Bristol Academy, leaving to rejoin Chelsea Ladies in the 2007 close season. On 26 May 2010, she left Chelsea Ladies and signed for Vancouver Whitecaps. In October 2010, Chamberlain returned to Bristol Academy ahead of their inaugural FA Women’s Super League campaign.
Where did you grow up playing Football?
I didn’t start playing football until I was about 11 years old. I used to go to the Fulham FC holiday soccer courses with my brothers when I was younger and just progressed from there.
What were your memories of youth Football? Who were your role models and why?
The youth set up wasn’t that great when I was growing up, I played women’s football at 15 years old which would never happen now. It was great to get experience at a young age but it is definitely better now that there is a properly structured set up with Centre’s of Excellence and strong youth leagues.
My role models were mainly male players as there wasn’t much media exposure of female players when I was growing up. I think it’s improving but it demonstrates how important it is for the development of younger players that we can promote more female role models in sport, especially football.
Did you ever train on your own away from the field?
I still do! We don’t train full time together as a team which means a lot of the time I am training on my own away from the field. We have our own strength and conditioning programmes which are given to us by England that we have to follow, as well as my extra goalkeeping training……and people think being a goalkeeper is easy!
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Football for females in the UK and why?
I think the biggest challenge is being able to manage playing at the top level and working as well. Unfortunately we don’t get paid enough money from football not to have to work as well, but training full time and requiring time off every month for international matches can be very difficult.
The FAWSL starts this weekend. How successful was 2011? What does the league need to build on in 2012/13?
For me personally and my team, Bristol Academy, it was a successful year. We finished 5th in the league, got to the FA Cup Final and also played in the Champions League. On a personal note I was picked in the FA WSL team of the year which was fantastic.
I think at the moment we need to keep promoting the league and ensure the standards continue to improve. Crowds improved drastically last year but there is a long way to go and we need to ensure that the quality is maintained to get people to continually come down and support us.
Whats your best achievement so far and why is it important to you?
It’s a close choice between two, either making my England debut in a 1-0 win over Holland, or playing in last year’s FA Cup Final. Both were amazing achievements and great occassions to be involved in. Playing for your country is the ultimate achievement and something I was very proud of.
What is your current playing situation?
I currently play in goal for Bristol Academy in the FA Womens Super League and am a Digital Ambassador for the club (www.facebook.com/SiobhanChamberlainOfficial @sio_chamberlain). I am also in the England Senior Womens Team.
What advice would you give a young female soccer player dreaming of becoming a professional player?
To follow their dreams and always take every opportunity that is available to them, most importantly though is to make sure that at the end of the day you are enjoying yourself and always having fun!