Mollie Green and Martha Harris during a Manchester United Women training session.

At home with Millie, Mollie, Martha and Ella

Friday 24 April 2020 10:08

The next part of our ‘At home with…’ series sees fire up the FaceTime for a chat with not one, but four members of the United Women squad, who have been in lockdown together for over a month now.

It’s a good thing they get along so well... even if their competitive nature comes to the fore every once in a while!

Hello everyone. How’s life in the Millie-Mollie-Martha-Ella house? We hope you’re keeping your spirits up...
Millie: Hi. Yeah, we’re keeping ourselves busy and entertained as much as possible, although it can be more of a challenge as the weeks go by.

With four of you in the house, it probably feels like an episode of Big Brother, but without the evictions!
Mollie: It’s quite entertaining to be in a house like this with four girls, and especially four of your team-mates. For the last few weeks we’ve been getting up early and doing our training, plus a running session, and then we’ve been pottering about doing mad jobs around the house that we would never normally do!
Ella: It’s good living with your mates, and being in the situation that we’re in it’s definitely made things a lot easier. We’re all happy to be with each other right now.

A year ago this week all four of you were on the pitch as we beat Crystal Palace to win the Championship...
Ella: Just thinking about moments like that makes us want to get back into playing games even more. That was a great day for us all, and a year on who could have predicted we’d be stuck in the house like this, but hopefully it’ll all be over soon and we can get back to doing what we love.

It’s just the four of you there, yes, with no pets extra craving attention?
Ella: There was a hamster here once, but it died.
Millie: My dog Nala is at home with my family. I miss her the most – I just want to steal her for a few days!

FaceTiming your dog just isn’t the same, is it. What was it that made you all decide to stay in Manchester, rather than return to your family homes like others in the squad have done?
Mollie: It was a no brainer for me – I think I’d last about two days back at home and then I’d go insane! I think we all realised how lucky we are to live with our mates and we decided to all stay.
Millie: It’s easier as well when it comes to our training. We’ve got all the equipment here, and it’s easier to motivate each other when there are four of you doing it together.

Millie is missing her pet dog, Nala.
It must certainly help with the technical sessions...
Millie: It does, and we do all of that together. We’ll often play two-touch or even ‘curby’ outside the front of the house.
Martha: Another thing we do together is go for a walk or bike ride very late in the day as there is a bike path nearby, so it’s nice for a little fresh air.
Millie: The good thing is there are little parks off the path, so we can vary the routes we take. 

Back to the technical sessions, we reckon you could have a decent, balanced game of two on two: Martha and Mollie versus Millie and Ella...
Ella: We’d batter them [laughs]! I would be up for a game like that.
Martha: Erm, no – we’d win that! I think it would cause big arguments, to be honest.
Millie: We’re too competitive, that’s the problem.

Thinking about it more, it could possibly be the only government-sanctioned game of football containing professional players that could take place right now, seeing as you all live together. You could film it on a phone and we could broadcast it on MUTV – 90 minutes live from your backyard. What do you say?
Ella: Ninety minutes – imagine that!
Martha: If wouldn’t be fun when the ball goes over the fence!
Ella: We’d need another net as we only have one – when it’s set up we’re going to stick Martha in it, as she’s good in goal.
Martha: It’s a miniature net, so yeah, I’ll be good.

The decent weather must make the garden sessions more enjoyable...
Mollie: Oh, 100 per cent. That’s been the silver lining every day right now. The weather just makes you a bit happier.

Any post-training barbecues out in the sunshine?
Millie: We don’t have a proper barbecue here but we bought one of those [long pause]...
Martha: Disposable!
Millie: Yes, disposable ones! We had turkey burgers on that one night. We’ve got an outdoor fire too so we can toast marshmallows on that.

Yum. And who’s top dog in the kitchen?
Martha, Ella and Millie: Mollie!

Would you agree, Mollie?
Mollie: Yeah, I would! To be fair, because we’ve been in isolation everyone’s tried to cook more and Millie has gone from 0 to 100. She used to cook not the best stuff but now she’s whipping up spag bol and stuff like that. She’s the most improved.

We see that Juan Mata commented on Millie and Ella’s cooking for the squad’s recent ‘Spanish cooking challenge’...
Ella: Yeah, he said ours was the best.
Millie: We made paella and churros. It was fun.

The girls have been brushing up on their cooking skills at home.

Which country is next up in the cooking challenge?
Millie: We’re off this week but we were down for South Korea last week.

That sounds tricky if you’re relying on food deliveries from your local supermarket...
Millie: It was a bit of a mad one –  we made Korean Teriyaki-style chicken wings with kale, and got hold of some South Korean ice cream. I can’t remember what the ice cream was called but it was nice. We’ve still got some in the freezer.
Martha: When we don’t have a cooking challenge we’ll try and cook from the Joe Wicks book, so we’ll always have a nice healthy meal.

After you’ve eaten, do you like to watch TV together? If so, who gets to boss the remote control?
Millie: Well, we haven’t actually got a lounge at the minute because we’ve turned it into a gym, so we’ve got a tele in my room and one in Mol’s room, so we’ll just shotgun the remotes – it just depends on whoever’s room you’re in.

What have you all been watching?
Ella: We’ve watched Tiger King, which was mental. Me and Mil have been watching White Collar, which is good. We might watch a scary film too, which we did last night.
Millie: We sometimes play cards or other games together, rather than watch TV. We like a FIFA tournament.

Who’s the leader in that one?
Millie: Me.
Martha: What? You’ve been losing!
Millie: No come on, I beat you.
[Amusing argument ensues between all four]
Mollie: As you can tell it’s a bit of a touchy subject at the moment because we’re all really competitive so we would probably all say that we’re the best... but truthfully I am the best!

The Reds are keeping in high spirits, outside of regular training.

Let’s quickly move on! Dare we ask, what other games do you play together then? Twister is fun when you’ve got four players.
Ella: Ah, Twister – we should get that!
Millie: We have ordered Monopoly.

If you like cards and Monopoly, Monopoly Deal is a brilliant card game, and it doesn’t take several hours...
Ella: Yeah, we tried that one, but Martha didn’t like it.
Martha: I prefer the original, so we’ve ordered that.

Fair enough. Any new skills you’ve picked up?
Millie: Does TikTok count? [Laughs] I think we peaked a bit too early with TikTok because we had three quite good ones, but now we can’t think of another, so we’re waiting for the next idea to pop up.
Ella: Martha’s tried to learn the keyboard, but that lasted about a second!
Martha: No, I ordered the wrong size keyboard so I couldn’t do it properly. I thought I’d ordered a normal one but it was for a five-year-old, so I sent it on to my niece and nephew. I then ordered another one but it just didn’t sound like a piano, which is what I wanted as I like the piano. I had to get rid of that one as well – it’s been frustrating!

Finding time to learn any new skill is easier said than done, even in lockdown...
Millie: It’s mad how quickly the days go, but Mol’s found time to start a nutrition course, and Tooney’s started getting better at cooking, haven’t you?
Ella: I can make poached and scrambled eggs now. We’re all trying to improve little things like that, that we didn’t have time to do before.

Such as kicking around a loo roll! How did you enjoy taking part in the squad’s combined ‘toilet roll challenge’?
Ella: Well, I couldn’t actually do my bit so I got angry and threw it, and we just thought we’d send that clip in instead. Martha’s bit was easy as she just had to throw it!

A perfectly executed toilet-roll throw-in, we felt...
Martha: Thank you!
Millie: It was fun to do, and it passed a bit of time. That’s what we enjoy every day now, little things like that to keep us entertained.

Practical jokes probably fall into that category for you, Millie...
Ella: I haven’t had revenge yet [for Millie throwing a glass of water on her from an upstairs window while Ella sunbathed], but it’s coming!
Millie: Martha tried to get me back for a spider I left for her, but it didn’t go as planned. I think she’s got something else in mind though.
Martha: I shan’t share that with you now!

And what about any theme nights or suchlike in the Millie-Mollie-Martha-Ella house, just to break up the routine?
Ella: We had a spa night the other night. We had face masks, feet masks, massages, we painted our nails... it was great.
Millie: It’s good to do something like that for a Saturday night thing. I think we need to do these more because that was nice.

Thanks for the chat – as ever, we’ll sign off with a message for the football-starved fans. What would you like to say to them?
Millie: Keep smiling, so try and keep yourself positive, and keep trying to fill your days with productive things, as we’re doing.
Mollie: We’re all in the same boat so try and stay happy – that’s the most important thing right now.
Millie: It’s time we’re not going to get back so we may as well all try and make the most of the situation. But we can’t wait to see you all again when this is over.