Katie Zelem

Revealed: Zelem to captain United Women

Friday 06 September 2019 11:00

Manchester United Women’s manager Casey Stoney has confirmed Katie Zelem will captain the side ahead of the 2019/20 season.

The Reds were skippered by defender Alex Greenwood last year, but the England international’s departure to Lyon last month means United have been without a full-time captain for the last few weeks.

Casey has not rushed the decision to select a replacement for Greenwood, but with our season set to kick off against Manchester City this Saturday, the boss has been forced to finally choose our new skipper.
Introducing our new Women's skipper.
She has also revealed there were several factors that went into determining who should wear the armband this year.

“I took my time [to decide] - and it took me weeks,” the Reds boss told MUTV. “I already had some of the names in my head, but I wanted to give everyone a fair opportunity to show what they had in terms of captaincy: how they could lead, what they could do around the group, how they support players.

“I’ve just stepped back from it and watched and seen how people have behaved around the group. What values do the team align to and who is suitable for that? 

“It needs to be someone the players trust and respect, someone who is capable of challenging both the players and the staff. It’s not been easy because we’ve got some fantastic characters in our group, but I have chosen Katie Zelem to lead us forward because she’s our most vocal player.
“She does lead by performance and communication and I just think the armband will add to her game, both on and off the pitch.

“She’s very honest and is also very supportive of the players. I’ve seen a different side to her at times, so, for me, she stood out. She was one I was already thinking of anyway. 

“To be honest, it was more of a conversation with her of ‘are you ready for this?’, because with that captaincy comes a lot of pressure and lot of expectation. Most importantly she needs to lead by example by having good performances on the pitch.”

Also speaking to MUTV, Katie - a lifelong Red - expressed her delight at being named captain ahead of our first season in the Women’s Super League.
“I’m completely overwhelmed, to be honest,” our no.10 said. “Obviously with Alex going it left a bit of a gap and everyone was really unsure where Casey was going to go or what she was thinking.

“Amy Turner obviously stepped in a little bit during our pre-season friendlies, but for Casey to select me and think that I am able to do that role is really overwhelming and I am so proud and honoured to represent the club.”

The midfielder netted 11 times in 26 appearances in all competitions during last season’s title-winning campaign and also won the Women’s Player of the Year award.
Katie collecting the Women’s Player of the Year award at the end of last season.
However, as Casey explained, it’s not just Zelem’s on-field performances that have led to her being captain, but also her mentality and leadership qualities.

“I am quite vocal and I have been since I was a lot younger,” Katie said. “If you ask some of the girls they’d say I was chewing their ear off, but I want everyone to improve and everyone to be the best player they can be. 

“I’ll always welcome feedback and anything they can tell me or any advice that Casey or any of the other girls can pass onto me will just help me improve as a player,” she added.

Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.