In 2014, Natasha Flint established herself as one of the most exciting young prospects in the Women’s Super League.
The then teenager made light work of darting between Hannah Blundell and Drew Spence to finish from 35-yards out against Chelsea. Her stunning solo goal secured Manchester City’s 2-1 win against the Blues and her status as a ‘wonder-kid’.
However, the hype didn’t go to Flint’s head as her career developed and it certainly didn’t get in the way.
“Having a ‘big reputation’ wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind, so I wouldn’t say it had an impact on me at all,” the forward told Her Football Hub. “Maybe it affected other people’s attitude towards me, but I was just happy to be doing what I loved and enjoying my football.”Embed from Getty Images
A passion for football is what has been driving Flint’s career path rather than seeking stardom.
“The love I have for the game is crazy,” she continued. “It’s all I have ever wanted to do.
“I’ve played football for most of my life. I started when I was five-years-old at Manchester United’s Academy. Ever since I started, I’ve never wanted stop.”
Dropping Leagues and Returning
Things didn’t go exactly to plan despite Flint’s hard work and dedication. Although she had made over 20 WSL appearances as a teenager, she found herself without a professional club at aged 19.
Flint has since featured for Preston North End, Fylde AFC and has had a successful stint at Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers.
“Stepping down when I did was a really hard decision for me, but it’s proved to be the right one,” Flint elaborated on her decision to join Blackburn.Embed from Getty Images
“It was a point in my life where I needed a change and to focus on other things. I’m now ready to get back to where I used to be and continue enjoying my football.
“I’ve been lucky to still have a chance to step back up after dropping down not one league but two leagues.”
Pushing Hard in Lockdown
Flint was one of the many players in the UK who found herself placed under the government’s furlough scheme during the coronavirus pandemic. As a part-time professional footballer, she relied on the income from a second career to survive.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for a lot of people around the world. I’ve had the opportunity to train everyday – which I wouldn’t normally have time to do, as I work Monday to Friday.
“I’ve been able to devote my time to full-time training. I’m averaging about 25 kilometres per week and I’m down by about six kilograms, so I’m probably fitter than I’ve ever been in my career. I’m just ready to start playing again now,” she reflected.
Highlights and her Future
The forward already has some impressive career highlights under her belt, including representing England in the U20 World Cup and signing professionally at a Super League club.Embed from Getty Images
However, Flint is ready to look forward and is putting in the work to make sure these proud moments aren’t her only legacy. She openly talks about her ambitions to be in the top footballing leagues and her desire to walk out in front of huge crowds, representing the Lionesses.
“I’m hoping in the future I’m settled into a team where I’m enjoying my football and performing at my best, in the best league.”