Opinion: Leah Williamson is Perfect Footballing Role Model

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Continuing my series of the most impressive Women’s Super League players this year, I’ve selected Leah Williamson from Arsenal.

One of the most enjoyable players to watch in the WSL is Williamson. The way she lives and breathes her club is something you don’t see much of in football nowadays.

The Lioness is a modern day centre-back who thrives on being able to drive out from the back. Williamson’s play allows Arsenal to press teams for longer periods of time and therefore, bag the hatfuls of goals they do so often.

She is capable of sending an inch-perfect pass and then a perfectly timed slide tackle, which everyone loves to see. However, it’s also what Williamson does off the pitch that has impressed me the most.

In 2019, Williamson went to Jakarta with the Arsenal Foundation. There, she coached and advised young girls about football, confidence and believing in yourself. It’s very easy for players to forget about the small things in life when they make it in the big leagues, but Williamson never has.

What the defender did for those children is Jakarta is way bigger than any trophy she will win or personal accolade she’ll achieve. She has given the gift of hope and has made young girls realise their self-worth in a world where people can hate to see others succeed.

To see a footballer wanting to push people up above themselves and not want others to bend for them in life is extremely refreshing.

Watching someone play for their childhood club is something of a fairytale and one that warms the hearts of every football fan. To see how much it means to Williamson is something that can only make you smile.

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