Want to know what connects two of the country’s most talented female sports starts, England cricket women’s Ashes winning star Jenny Gunn and Bristol Academy captain Katie Holtham?
Jenny Gunn Profile
PROFESSION: England women’s cricketer.
POSITION: All rounder and opening bowler.
INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: Part of the senior England side for the last two years and an important member of the famous Ashes winning side over Australia in the summer of 2005.
SUPPORTS: Blackburn Rovers.
ANYTHING ELSE: Jenny still plays football as and when her cricket commitments allow her to. She plays as a striker for a club in the Nuttall area of Nottingham.
Katie Holtham Profile
PROFESSION: Top women’s footballer. Bristol Academy captain and England international.
POSITION: Central midfielder.
INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: Former captain of the England under 19’s, Katie has since had call ups for the England under 21’s and senior national team squads.
ANYTHING ELSE: Katie has her own column here at femaleSOCCER, which is updated every two weeks.
How do you two know each other?
JENNY GUNN: Well, we’ve grown up playing football together really. When we were around the age of nine years old, we started playing for a local side in the Nottingham area named West Bridgeford Colts. We had a great team and used to win most of our games quite easily. It started off at around seven a side at that age and Katie and I used to play midfield together.
KATIE HOLTHAM: Yeah, when we reached an age that meant we couldn’t play with the boys any more, my dad set up the West Bridgeford Colts Girls side and we were awesome. We used to beat teams 14-0 and 15-0 on a regular basis. We had all the best players around and Jenny was one of those players.
Even before that though, at schools level, I’d come up against Jenny a few times when she was playing for Abbey Road School and she was a great striker.
What’s been the biggest influence on your careers?
JENNY GUNN: For me its got to be my family. We’ve always been a sporting family, my dad Bryn Gunn used to play in goal for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, so football especially has always been something close to me.
I was either going to follow football or cricket and when I got selected for England cricket trials aged thirteen I did well and decided that was what I wanted to go for, although I still love to play football when I can.
KATIE HOLTHAM: My family, especially my dad. As mentioned he set up the local girls team when I was no longer allowed to play alongside the boys and without his help I wouldn’t be where I am now.
What’s been your greatest moment in sport to date?
JENNY GUNN: It has to be winning the Ashes series against Australia in the summer. It was amazing and then when the men’s team did the same and we received all that national coverage, it was fantastic. From the open top bus to the crowds in Trafalgar Square, it was just an awesome experience and not one I’m likely to forget.
On top off all that we got to meet the queen a few weeks ago which was a remarkable thing to do. She was really sweet, a bit like spending time with your grandma and we all really enjoyed it.
KATIE HOLTHAM: My first call to the England senior squad was a massive highlight for me, although captaining the England under 19’s at the European Championships last summer was also a very proud moment.
Which one of you was the more talented player as a youngster?
JENNY GUNN: Oh Katie was definitely! That’s why she’s gone on to do so well. I still enjoy playing though. Whenever I’m not touring with England, I tend to play football and it helps me keep my fitness up as well.
KATIE HOLTHAM: Ha! Erm, well I think I probably edged it. Jenny was better at cricket and that’s we she perused it further and has done exceptionally well.
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