Ahead of Sunday’s league opener & new issue of The Tigress programme including an exclusive interview with Emily Smith, here’s another chance to read our first ever Big Interview. We interviewed popular right back Meg Render for our first “Big Interview” in the first ever issue of The Tigress last season.
Meg Render has been at City Ladies since 2014 and it’s fair to say she has had a rollercoaster ride as a City player. She was part of the squad promoted at the end of the 2014/15 season and is one of just six players who remain from that promotion winning side.
Unfortunately for Meg she also suffered an ACL injury in 2015 and had to endure months on the side-lines. It takes a special type of player to come back from that sort of injury and Meg has done just that. The right back is miss consistent and never lets anyone down when called upon. She takes no prisoners and gets the team moving forward with some fantastic distribution from the back.
Now one of the senior members of the squad, Meg plays a key role and has helped to nurture the younger players. Another promotion at the end of this season would be just the reward a player like Meg deserves. We’d like to thank her for taking time out to talk to us and here we go with Meg’s answers.
- How would you sum up the season so far?
To be honest, it feels like it’s been a really long season. It seems like the teams that we played at the beginning were totally different to now. The weather disruption meant we missed a few weeks of football over Christmas which has made the season seem so much longer. There’s been some really tough weeks/games but the togetherness of the team had just been phenomenal this year. It’s just been so positive so far.
- What would it mean to you personally and to the team to gain promotion by winning the league title this season?
I think it would be the same answer from every single one of us. Personally, it would be the second time experiencing promotion since I joined in 2014. It was an amazing feeling and the celebrations were even better. I know myself and the other girls who were part of it in 2014 will want to repeat that! I just feel it’s very much deserved this season, we have worked so hard.
- The game against Brighouse could prove pivotal in the title race, will the team be preparing for it any differently to normal?
It’s huge. I know that Danny will work really hard to make sure that training is well drilled and effective. We’re really looking forward to it and that will show at training. We treat every game the same but we know what this one can potentially mean.
- How have the players used the experience of last season to help them in their bid for promotion this time around?
I feel like since we were promoted into this league, each season has been a stepping stone up to where we are now. We have said at times that we just weren’t ready for promotion until now. We were gutted not to finish higher than we did last year but our experiences from last season along with the one before have really helped us to prepare for our promotion push this season.
- How much of a factor has competition for places been in the club’s success this season?
As a player that has competition this season-which has been hard at times throughout- I know that when you do pull on your shirt and are in the starting 11, you’ve got to give it everything and you really want to perform. So I would say it has played a big part in some sense.
- As one of the more experienced members of the squad have you been able to help the younger players cope with the pressure this season?
To be fair, they have really took it in their stride and to watch them play, you wouldn’t think they were so young. The likes of Nat and Eden have done really well. The more experienced players will always do what we can to help. Players like Jo and Tash are great for it, they will always get us up for a game and really lead by example, that has a positive impact on the whole squad, not just the youngsters.
- If there is one area of your game that you could improve what would you want it to be?
I think since coming back after my ACL injury in 2015, my biggest weakness is my confidence. As I said previously, I have competition for playing which results in not starting regularly. But you need games to gain confidence and that can take several weeks to gain that confidence. I also dwell on mistakes that I make and beat myself up about them throughout the game.
- How do you feel the club has progressed since you joined?
The club has progressed massively over the last few years. As I said in a previous answer, we gained promotion in 2014 (my first season) and I know that we are just getting better and better. The players that have joined us this season have had a massive impact. I realised and mentioned to a few of the girls last week that out of the team that got promoted in 2015, there’s only six of those players still there now.
- One of the ambitions of Hull City Ladies is to become a WSL team one day, do you think that we will ever see the day when Hull has a fully professional women’s football team?
That is definitely an ambition for us for us, I’d like to think so. However, we all know that it is a long way off. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and keep working hard. It’s definitely something we are looking towards.
- With the recent success of the Ladies national side, do you think that women’s football is given enough exposure in the media both locally and nationally that it deserves?
It is definitely getting better, I can’t deny that. However, I still don’t think that it gets the exposure that it deserves. But it’s definitely going in the right direction.
As we know City Ladies went on to win the title last season and they kick off the new campaign this Sunday. We would encourage as many of you as possible to come and support the Tigresses in their first ever game in the FAWNL Premier Division on Sunday vs Stoke City (2pm KO)
Our new issue of The Tigress will be on sale for just £2