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Published 20 February 2024 4 min read
England Women's Senior Team

My journey: Millie Turner

Written by:

Millie Turner

England and Manchester United defender Millie Turner on her journey from Wilmslow to the Lionesses

I never lost hope that I would earn another England call-up. After all, it was my biggest ambition. Growing up, I always dreamed of representing my country.

My family have always been very football-orientated and from the age of four or five I used to go down to the Wilmslow Football Academy near where we lived with my brother and we would play football every Saturday.

I was the only girl there but it was great. I was there until the age of around 12 and it was a great academy to start you football journey with. They are still going really strong, and they have their own girls’ day now so it is great to see how it has grown.

When it got to the age I would need to leave Wilmslow Football Academy, we weren’t really sure where to go after that and it was actually my dad's mate who said to my dad: ‘You need to get her into a club because she's all right you know’.

That's when we started looking to go to a girls’ team and that is when I joined Stockport County.

From there I moved around a bit. I was at Stockport and then Manchester City before I went to the centre of excellence at Crewe Alexandra. But they folded and that is when I went to United.

The thing with United was at that stage they didn’t have a first team at the time, so I ended up moving to Everton and signed my first professional contract with them before going to Bristol City and then back to United in 2018.

When I look back, my family played a big role in my development. My younger brother Jake is a goalkeeper who is doing really well at Gillingham and we always used to play football in the garden with my dad and my twin brother, Bruce.

My dad was massive for me. He's always loved football and used to play for Stockport County as well so he's literally taught me basically everything that I know.

I want to make him proud as much as I want to make myself proud really. He is at every single game, never misses one, and he also travels to watch my brother play in Gillingham every single game as well, so it is fair to say he is clocking up a lot of miles in his car!. I couldn't do it without him.

I think my Mum has had to suffer in silence over the years! But she has become a lot more involved in football and my twin brother is involved a lot in the media and does a lot of presenting at the minute, so our parents do well balancing supporting all three of us.

I think for me, I never really thought of football as something that I needed to be worried about. My dad took away all that pressure. He just said: ‘Go and try it and if you like it, we'll stick with it. And if you don't, then that's absolutely fine’.

Millie Turner playing for England women's under-19s in January 2014
Millie Turner playing for England women's under-19s in January 2014

On my journey, there have obviously been a lot of setbacks, but when I was younger it was quite smooth in that I didn’t really feel much pressure because both Stockport and Man City at that time were grassroots clubs, rather than proper academies, so it was like a gradual build up into the professional game.

Looking back on it, it's crazy to think how different it is now to how it was. When I was a lot younger, there wasn’t the same things for you to look forward to football wise because you didn’t really know where it could start and how it could end. Now, it seems to be a lot different, with the different pathways there.

But I wouldn't change any of it. I think it has made me the person and the player that I am today.

My advice to any young player playing grassroots football would be to make sure you enjoy your football and just express yourself and your own personality on the pitch. The number one priority should be that you enjoy it as much as you can.

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