'No one else has done that this season' - Leeds United Women skipper Catherine Hamill takes positives from cup exit

Catherine Hamill's latest column tells all on Leeds United Women's cup defeat and Whites away days.

Catherine Hamill in action against Wolves.
Catherine Hamill in action against Wolves.

I’ve got a lump on the side of my head.

It was a very physical game against Wolves on Sunday. A couple of clashed heads, lots of injuries. I think the physio will be seeing a few people on Tuesday!

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Leeds United Women.

We lost 3-1 to a tough team, and we’re out of the cup.

The game was closer than the scoreline suggests, as they snatched a third goal in the dying seconds of the match while we were pushing for the equaliser.

There’s lots of positives to take from the performance. We really competed against them. Sarah Danby and Olivia Smart were linking up brilliantly on the left wing and, as a team, we made a good few chances, not forgetting that we scored, too - no one else has done that against Wolves this season.

I wasn’t entirely happy with my performance - but I’m someone who always thinks about what I could have done better instead of what I did well.

Leeds United Women.

It’s never nice to lose after going on a bit of a winning streak, but at least now we can focus on the league - that’s our priority, to do the best we can there. There were plenty of smiles and laughter on the coach home, anyhow; I was too exhausted to get involved. Headphones on. It’s been a long day, it’s dark. Sometimes you just want your bed!

Away games can be fun. Shania Twain comes out, Steps might come on.

On our way to Alnwick Town the other week, it was about nine in the morning and Laura Bartup put the Venga Boys on.

I was thinking: “It’s too early for that!”

Rebecca Hunt and Bridie Hannon bring the speakers along, so they’re usually in charge of what gets played.

Last week, Becca put a Spotify playlist on the group chat.

That was a good idea, everyone adding their own songs and just pressing shuffle.

We had a right mix - 5, 6, 7, 8 by Steps, John Newman’s cover of Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know, bit of Krept and Konan and, of course, the Venga Boys cropped up.

I’m one of the quieter ones on the bus to be honest.

I’ll chit-chat but, if I’m dancing around, I’m not thinking about the game. I’ll start to talk a bit more as we get closer to the venue, but I like to stay focussed.

That’s what I’m like. It’s funny, some people like dancing and putting the music on loud to get ready, others prefer sitting there and reading a book.

We need the upbeat people. If anyone’s feeling nervous, it’s they who end up making them feel a little less nervous by getting them talking about something else.

There are plenty of characters in the team who are able to lift people and get them positive, which is really nice.

The home team always puts food on - you get a fine if you don’t, I think - and Wolves gave us lasagne this weekend.

There wasn’t much left when I came out of the dressing room - and I wasn’t going for the veggie option! So Jodie Hunter and I had to split the last remaining slice between us.

My showering habits were to blame for that.

Most of the girls prefer to wait until they get home to wash, but I always prefer to get myself sorted properly before we jump back on the coach.

But, if you shower after the game, you will be last out of the changing room and, this time around, that meant a smaller slice of lasagne. I brought a team washbag along this week, just in case anyone had forgotten anything. It had everything - you could believe I was promoting Boots or Superdrug or something - shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, spray, hair clips, bit of dry shampoo, a hairbrush, you name it.

I told them before the game: “You want a penalty, girls, you want to spray a bit of this on and the ref might like you more!”

It didn’t work this week.

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