Player of the year Rebecca Hunt is loving life at Leeds United Women

“As awful as it sounds, it’s quite good for me that the match is cancelled,” Leeds United Women’s Rebecca Hunt said of the postponement of tomorrow’s clash with Newcastle United.

By Flora Snelson
Saturday, 10th October 2020, 5:45 am
Leeds United Women's Rebecca Hunt takes on Dannika Purdham and Grace Ayre of Durham. Picture: Steve Riding.
Leeds United Women's Rebecca Hunt takes on Dannika Purdham and Grace Ayre of Durham. Picture: Steve Riding.

A work shift was set to count her out of the action, but the rearrangement means she could now be involved in a stand-out game in the fixture list – facing up against the Magpies, her family’s team.

The 26-year-old midfielder owes her interest in football to her dad, a massive fan of the beautiful game and an avid follower of Newcastle.

It was “quite a contentious issue”, then, when Hunt joined Sunderland aged eight, spending 10 years with the Black Cats before leaving to play for her university side in Durham.

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Leeds United Women's Rebecca Hunt. Picture: Steve Riding.

The Chester-le-Street born player was brought to Leeds in 2016 by a new job opportunity with the civil service.

She said of her arrival: “I moved here blind – I didn’t know anyone. I thought the best way to make friends was to start playing football. I loved it, so I’ve bought a house and I’ve never left. It’s where I’ve got all my friends – everyone I know is connected to the team in some way.”

Hunt, who wears number 11 for the Whites, won the Player of the Year award this summer after scoring 16 goals last season. She is now enjoying her fourth term with the club.

She added: “This season has been good, but very different. There’s been a lot of shock results.

“With all the disruption we’ve had over the last year, everyone is finding their feet again. I think we’ve been performing really, really well – we just haven’t been scoring as many as we might have liked.”

Hunt made her 76th appearance for Leeds on Sunday, when the Whites were held to a goalless draw against her hometown side Chester-le-Street.

It was a different story at their last meeting in September 2019, when Hunt scored a hat-trick to seal a 3-1 victory away on Wearside.

Witnessed by a crowd of local family members, Hunt remembers the occasion as a highlight of her Leeds career, along with the “once in a lifetime experience” of beating Morecambe 1-0 at Elland Road, and contributing to post-match analysis with the likes of Eddie Gray and Jermaine Beckford for LUTV.

Of Leeds’ ambitions to achieve WSL status, Hunt said: “We’ve got the right stuff in place – there’s money behind the team, the facilities at Thorp Arch are great.

“We’ll build it season on season, but I do absolutely think in the next five or 10 years, Leeds will be up there.

“I would love to challenge myself in the league above, definitely. But I’m too old for the WSL!”.

Leeds will continue their promotion charge later this month, but for now the focus is on the FA Cup, and their first tie against Stockport on October 18.