Everton women’s captain Lucy Graham has said that she has settled in well since making her move to Merseyside in the summer.
Graham cited the people around her as the primary reason for a seamless transition, and was quick to praise them.
“I love Liverpool as a city, and I think the club has made it a seamless process and they’ve made me very welcome, so obviously I knew Chris and Willie, the coaches, before coming in.
“they made me settle in even quicker, and you know it’s a great bunch of girls that we’ve got so we all work hard together, and we all have a good laugh.”
She works in tandem with Danielle Turner, the official club captain, as part of a leadership group designed to expand responsibility and encourage those in the squad to take control of themselves. Graham believes the novel concept has been a successful one.
She said: “I’m very much a leader on and off the pitch without the armband, so to speak, so having Dan and a leadership group type thing, we all work together really well and as soon as we step on the pitch on a Sunday everyone takes charge of themselves.”
However, she was quick to make clear that the dynamic between her and Turner has flourished, rather than fostered any lingering tension.
“As soon as I came into the club Dan was really friendly, really approachable, you know she’s been at the club for a long time and knows how everything works. Me having the captaincy is, you know not much has changed.”
Graham has also won many plaudits for her contributions this season, including scoring the winner in the Merseyside derby, which finished 1-0 at Anfield.
She believes that her high performance levels are down to training, and her mind set.
“I try and focus on myself in training, kind of, every day to make sure I give my all and give my best, so I feel like when I go into games at the weekend that I do the same so. Some games go your way, some games don’t but you know I try not to focus on it too much and get bogged down when things don’t go my way, I just focus on the things that I can control.”
Graham enjoys working under manager Willie Kirk because of the unerring faith that he places in his own players.
“He trusts his players massively. You know we don’t necessarily always stick to the same formation week-in week-out and we’re very adaptable and we like to make it difficult for other teams, so you know I think he’s got massive trust in us that if he gives us a formation he trusts us massively to go out and execute it.”
Photo by Josh Brain