Rachel Williams

Williams: I love watching women’s football grow

Tuesday 07 March 2023 11:58

Manchester United Women striker Rachel Williams has loved watching the upward trajectory women’s football has been on over the years.

In an open and honest interview with club media, for the Leicester edition of our official matchday programme, the 35-year-old looked back on her career so far and how the game has grown during her time in the sport.

“When I was coming through it all, I never thought it could be as good as it is now,” she told us. “There were only a few girls around where I grew up that played football. 

“We started to get glimpses of it from the 2012 Olympics, with the exposure there. 

Williams played for Team GB's women's football team at the 2012 Games.
“For all my journey that I’ve had through my career to where it is now, it’s nice to see all the hard work – not just me, but the staff, The FA, people in the background, grassroots… it’s just brilliant to see where the game is now.” 

The Reds forward also offered a bit of advice to those up-and-coming players who can now see their dreams of being a professional footballer becoming a reality.

“Young girls now can have a career in this sport,” she began. “But you’ve got to have the love of football because it is hard work. You have to have that passion and drive to stick at it and if you do, the world is your oyster now with women’s football. 

"You can go and play wherever you want; I love watching it grow each year.”

Williams will be joined by her team-mates later this month as United Women return to Old Trafford when we host West Ham United in the Women’s Super League.

Marc Skinner’s side have already played at the Theatre of Dreams once already this season, in a thumping 5-0 victory over Aston Villa, with Williams getting on the scoresheet at the Stretford End late on.  

Just like captain Katie Zelem, the 35-year-old is eyeing another record attendance when we return to M16 on Saturday 25 March, saying: “It’s [previous record attendances] showing the hard work by every person that puts work into the women’s game, just how much it’s improving it, to be getting attendances like that.

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“It’s mind-blowing how things have changed. I remember my French teacher at school saying to me – because I never really liked it! – that I might need French one day because of football,” Williams adds, recalling a childhood memory. 

“I said I didn’t want to, but now I’m playing with Aissa [Aissatou Tounkara] and Casa [Estelle Cascarino] and I’m like: ‘Damn, Miss Wilson was right, I should’ve learned French!’

“But that’s what the game is doing; it’s mad how it is changing and I love to see now that kids just see football as football.”

Tickets for our Old Trafford match against West Ham are available to buy here, while you can see the full interview with Rachel Williams in the Leicester edition of our matchday programme here.