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Emma Byrne

Published: Wednesday 1 February 2012, 12.20CET
Published: Wednesday 1 February 2012, 12.20CET

Emma Byrne


Previous clubs: St Patrick's Athletic, Fortuna Hjørring

Domestic honours: FA Women's Super League (2), FA Women's Super League Cup (2), FA Women's Premier League (9), FA Women's Cup (7), FA Women's Premier League Cup (5)

UEFA honours: UEFA Women's Cup 2007

Which player most inspired you and why? Susan Hayden, the previous Republic of Ireland goalkeeper. Susan was the best goalkeeper I have ever trained with. Her attitude and ability were second to none. She inspired me to fear nothing and demand professionalism from everyone involved in the game. She was driven by the love of the game and her country.

Which coach most inspired you? Alex Welsh. Alex is currently the Tottenham Hotspur boy's youth coach but previously coached the boys at Arsenal. He allowed me to train with the Arsenal boys every week for 10 years. By far, the best coach I have ever worked with and one of the main reasons I've consistently performed to the best of my ability. Alex is not only a fantastic coach, he's a brilliant person. He's my mentor in football and in life!

What was the best advice they gave you? It's very hard to single out one particular piece of advice as the best. If I had a bad game and was feeling low in confidence, Alex would assure me that you don't become a bad player over night. One bad game does not make you a bad goalkeeper. It made me work hard in the session and get back on track.

Best player you've played with? Olivia O'Toole. Olivia is now retired from international football but is by far the best player I have ever played with. She's never been recognised as one of the best because people only judge on "Final Stages" and unfortunately, Ireland never qualified for the finals. But I've played at every level for my club and played against the best for my country - Olivia is up there!

Toughest opponent? Club - Lyon. Player - Abby Wambach.

What are your memories of your first club as a child? I absolutely fell in love with football. My best friend's mum was the manager and all of my friends were involved! The people definitely made me it for me!

What tip would you give a young player hoping to succeed? I would tell them ability alone isn't enough anymore. It takes really hard work and commitment. There'll be ups and downs but if they work hard consistently, they'll get their rewards at the end.

Last updated: 10/10/12 23.39CET

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