Cara Milne-Redhead in Year 10 reports on her fantastic football career to date:
I started playing football at Clitheroe Wolves when I was 4 years old. I was with the boys’ team for 4 years, with a highlight being winning the U9’s league, going unbeaten through the full season.
When I was 8, I moved to Burnley Girls’ and Ladies’ FC and played there for 5 years, captaining the side in the latter years despite playing up an age level. My personal highlight at Burnley FC was scoring 51 goals in 22 games, playing in a league with players all at least a year older than me.
In 2016 I was offered a 3-week trial at Manchester United and was successful in gaining a contract for the Under 14’s squad in the 2016/17 season. I loved my first year at Manchester United, despite the intense training regime. I was proud to be named vice-captain in my first season and I enjoyed playing in a team that didn’t get beaten in any of the competitive fixtures all season, with emphatic 9-1 and 4-1 wins against local rivals Manchester City and Liverpool FC respectively.
In my first season at Manchester United I was also called up to my first Scotland Under 15 and Under 16 training camps.
2017 was also a fantastic year. My contract at Manchester United was renewed for the 2017/18 season as a member of the Under 16 squad and I enjoyed further training camps for Scotland U16s and U17s.
My proudest moment however was making my debut for my country. I played in the UEFA U17 Euro Championship qualifying round in Latvia against the hosts, Slovakia and England, and we successfully qualified for the Elite Round which will take place in France in March 2018.
I’ve also been to Slovenia and Northern Ireland with Scotland FA, and I’m delighted to have been called up to the U17’s squad that will travel to Iceland in February and play 2 friendlies. In the same month I travel to York to play in a UEFA U16 Development tournament against Spain, Denmark and England.
I also represent, and have captained, Lancashire Schools at U14 and U16 levels, and have won, and scored in, a National Inter-Counties Final.
Playing at such a high level is incredibly challenging, especially with training in Manchester 4 nights a week but I know I’m extremely fortunate to have been offered so many amazing opportunities. I will continue to work hard, both in, and out of, school and will hopefully achieve my dream of becoming a full-time professional footballer as well as representing Scotland at senior level.