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Hopeful Hennessy would love to be toast of Arsenal fans on Super League’s big stage

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 March 2020

Arsenal's under-16 prospect Alex Hennessy

Arsenal's under-16 prospect Alex Hennessy

Archant

Arsenal under-16s prospect Alex Hennessy has dreams of one day hitting the net in the Women’s Super League, but knows the hard work she has to put in to get there.

Like many girls, Hennessey first struggled to find a girls team for her age group when she was young so had to play with boys while growing up.

And despite having footballing heroes who she looks up to, the central midfielder from Essex has recently been taking inspiration from other sports.

“I was on a big family holiday and we were all playing football with other people staying at the resort. I just really liked it and when we got back my mum looked for a local team,” she said at a SportsAid workshop at Newmarket Racecourse.

“I ended up in a boys team and being the only girl, but I didn’t see that as much of a problem to be honest.

“Jordan Nobbs and Paul Scholes are two of my heroes, but I love watching any sport. The things you need for different sports is interesting – you have different goals, but the core values all stay the same.

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“I just always want to be better in every aspect – stronger, fitter, better technically – I just want to keep working. Recovery is needed but you cannot stop working hard. You have to want to be the best you can be at every training session, the best in every game.”

Having gone from playing with a group of boys to showing her prowess in Arsenal’s and England’s youth ranks, where she has already captained her country and won the FA Youth Cup, Hennessey’s ambitions go beyond her current achievements.

And while she pushes herself to realise her goal of making it as a professional, among Hennessey’s greatest hopes is to score a goal for her beloved Arsenal in front of a capacity crowd.

She said: “I train six times a week, there are hard days but I am able to decide what to prioritise. So, if I have five bits of homework which definitely aren’t getting done in an hour, I will take a day off.

“I have minor shin splits at the moment and I am on the road back. This is my first injury and I am struggling. I’ve learnt that even when you are injured you need to stay on the same diet, still go to the gym and do upper body and follow the same routine.

“I am an Arsenal fan, so if I score for them on a Saturday now it’s an amazing feeling. But the thought of doing it in front of a massive crowd really drives me – it would be incredible!”

*SportsAid supports the most promising young British athletes by providing them with a financial award, recognition and personal development opportunities during the critical early stages of their careers. The athlete and parent workshop hosted at Newmarket Racecourse was supported by funds raised by the RBC Ride for the Kids.

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