Paige Williams has opened up about the intensity of training with Leeds United and the way that the men’s team have inspired the approach of the women’s side.
Earlier this week, the Welsh winger appeared on the Leeds United podcast alongside Whites striker Abbie Brown. The pair chatted to Emma Jones, Jermaine Beckford and Matthew Lewis about murderball, the progress of the women’s game, and Leeds United Women’s strong start to the season.
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Williams joined the Whites at the beginning of this season and has quickly found her way into head coach Dan O’Hearne’s starting eleven.
The 21-year-old has played a key role in her side’s impressive start to the season, as Leeds sit in second place, tied on points with Division One North Leaders Liverpool Feds - Williams’ former side.
But the progress comes at some personal cost to O’Hearne’s players, who are all tied up in day jobs or studies outside their life at Leeds United.
“You’re not getting in until late at night, and then you’re getting up early for other responsibilities you’ve got in your everyday life,” Williams revealed.
“It does take its toll on you, but you love your football so it’s not too bad.
“We’ve got the same goal at the end of the day. We want to win the league so we can’t moan.”
In addition to weekly matches, either at their home stadium in Tadcaster or at away venues as far away as Northumberland, the Whites train for two hours twice a week.
The team have not looked far to draw inspiration for their approach to preparing for and winning games.
O’Hearne has been known to inflict Marcelo Bielsa’s infamous ‘murderball’ exercise on his squad, and each training session starts with sprints or laps before a ball is kicked.
“We’ve kind of got the same philosophy as the men,” Williams said. “We’re running all the time.
“It’s very high intensity. A lot of the girls in our league are young, fit, or they’ve come down from bigger teams down a league to play football.
“We’re quite a fit team, and I think that’s the way you have to be to win this league.”
The Whites continue their title charge on Sunday September 16, kick-off 2pm, when they’ll hunt their fourth consecutive league win of the season against Chester le Street Town. With O’Hearne’s side yet to concede at Tadcaster Albion, you can watch Leeds defend their immaculate home record for £5, while Under-16s go free.
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