Football star Dixie Thirde is inspired by the success of Keira Walsh, a former student of Haslingden High School in Rossendale.
The 12-year-old defender secured a place at the Manchester United Regional Talent Club (RTC) at the age of seven – Manchester’s opposing side in midfielder England and Manchester City.
“I used to watch Burnley play with my dad and one day I found a soccer ball and started hitting it,” said Dixie, who started playing at the age of. five years.
“As my dad knew the Rossendale Valley coach, I started playing with them on a Saturday and haven’t stopped playing since.”
When she earned her spot with the RTC, Dixie had to stop playing for the local Rossendale Valley and Haslingden Ladies teams.
“I was placed on the Under-10 team for two years, then with the Under-11s and now I’m playing with the Under-13s,” she said.
“I’ve been a team captain for four years and was the youngest member of all the teams I’ve played with. Being a captain gives you leadership skills and you can control what happens a bit more.
“I like tackling and that’s the main job of a defender. Everyone seems to want to be a striker so that they can score a goal and celebrate, but that didn’t interest me much.
“I’ve always been more interested in attacking and preventing goals from coming in, then throwing the ball to forwards to set goals.”
Dixie is currently injured after falling from a wall and tearing cartilage in her hip, but she could be allowed to play non-contact football later this month and hopes to be back to bring the team together early in the season. ‘next year.
She added: “I still go to practice sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, but for physiotherapy – and I watch all the games on a Sunday.
“I love the game and the support you get from all of the team members; we have a good team spirit and everyone supports each other.
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