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Katie Zelem

Katie Zelem

National team: England

Which player most inspired you and why? In the women's game Marta has inspired me since I was younger. She can read the game exceptionally and has got so many technical aspects to her game. In the men's game Juan Mata and Andrés Iniesta have inspired me. They are similar players who have both adopted a simple and smart playing style.

Which coach most inspired you? I have had several good coaches both internationally and at club level. Emma Jenks at Manchester United LFC and Maureen Marley. Mo inspired me through her success. Her determination to win really rubbed off on the team during competitions. However, my dad is my biggest inspiration.

What was the best advice they gave you? Jenks told me to always be myself. She said I need to do what's best for myself as a person and as a player. That really helped shaped my actions further on down the line. My dad also gave me some brilliant advice to always chase what you want. He told me to stay focussed because eventually all the hard work will pay off.

Best player you've played with? Fara Williams, her range of passing and vision on the ball is unbelievable.

Toughest opponent? My toughest opponent to date was one of the French midfielders at Under-19 level. She was a clever player who drifted in and out of spaces making it difficult to mark her.

What are your memories of your first club as a child? I first started playing for a boys team called Failsworth Dynamoes. I remember captaining the Under-8s in a local tournament.

What tip would you give a young player hoping to succeed? To never give up, no matter how many times you are told it's impossible, make sure you do all the things you can to make being successful possible.

What was the experience of playing in a youth final tournament? The experience was incredible. At the time it's the most important event of your life and it really shapes you as a person.

Last updated: 04/09/14 13.40CET