Danny Da Silva won it all with Rozel Rovers Women last season, as well as being awarded Sportscast Jersey player of the season, but she is hungry to carry on winning this season after the talented youngster lifted the Zenith Cup on Wednesday night to begin the new season the way she ended the last!
Dan Andrade caught up with the Rozel captain with the new league season beginning tomorrow morning. From talking about last season to what her future goals are, it is a great interview!
Read it all below!
Let’s start by talking about last season – Rozel won the lot! How much of an enjoyable experience was that?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Being able to win all the trophies and experiencing it with such an amazing group of players, is something I will never forget. The trophies were just an end product of all the dedication, hard work, commitment and teamwork of Rozel. Each and every one of them put full commitment and effort into training sessions and matches. We are lucky to have some of the best players in Jersey, with plenty of experience. These players set an example for some of our younger players and give encouragement and support, through tips on and off the pitch. Throughout our journey to the finals, we made so many memories not only as a team but as a group of friends.
You had a great season personally too – how much are you enjoying your football!
Thank you! It’s been my passion for as long as I can remember. My performance comes down to hard work and dedication. There is not one second where I stop enjoying it. Every game feels like my first. Football has always been part of my routine and something I look forward to. By challenging myself and working harder on and off the pitch, it leads me to achieve my goals and helps me improve not only physically but mentally.
This season has started with another trophy! How was the final?
Despite losing the previous game on Sunday, I feel like it made us stronger and realise what we had to do in the final. Losing is part of the game and it definitely made us open our eyes. With our team only having 12 players and knowing Wanderers weren’t going to let us go home without a fight, we had to work extra hard for each other. Initially going into the game, it was nerve-racking, but I tried to maintain a positive attitude all the way through. As a captain I must support, motivate and set the example for my team. Throughout the game we trusted each other and had faith up until the last second. We enjoyed every bit of it.
You’re captain at such a young age – how much do you love that responsibility?
Being named captain of Rozel Rovers is an honour and a privilege. I try my best to always give 110% to this team, with or without the captain band around my arm. It has made me learn a lot about myself and helped me come out of my shell and boost my confidence. Being part of and leading this team comes with trust and I work hard to encourage and support them on and off the pitch. It has also been challenging but I have a strong mentality, and motivation to succeed.
You headed away with Jersey in September too! How much do you enjoy playing for the island!
Being chosen to represent Jersey is amazing and I am very grateful, but it also comes with great responsibility. It’s always such a big opportunity to go away and play alongside the best female players in Jersey. Ever since I was at the PDC I have looked up to some in particular and they have been my role models, so It’s a lot of pressure as I want to play as best as I can and not let my team down.
Do you think the women’s game in Jersey is in good shape?
Since I started playing football it has improved a lot and there are more opportunities for female players, but it still could be a lot better. We unfortunately lost a team this season and, in my opinion, clubs should be given more help and encouragement. A lot of teams in Jersey now have created opportunities for younger players, girls and boys, to be involved in football. However, woman’s football still has a lot of room for growth but hopefully the amount of participation will increase as well as the level of performance.
Would you ever want to play at a higher level one day?
It has always been a dream of mine to be like the players I grew up watching. Football has always been a big part of my life and always will be. Since I’ve started playing with the seniors, I have definitely been taking football a lot more seriously and I feel like I’ve come so far, why stop now? I’m up to take new challenges and am willing to work hard to improve to get into a higher level. Representing the Jersey women’s team away has given me a sense how football could be like for me in the future.
Finally, what are your goals for the upcoming season both personally and as a team?
In football you can’t just stop and be the greatest you must be constantly trying to improve yourself. My personal goals are to keep improving myself physically, technically and as a captain. I’m a competitive player not only in a match but at trainings too, it’s always been like that and will never change. I think it’s one of the reasons why I succeed. I also want to be the person my team can count on. But with a team that has a drive for competition and success, it will, make my job easier. Rozel are a great team but there is always room for improvement and our hard work and commitment is what has led us to success last season but we are looking to build on that.