Talented Bungay footballer is on the path to England dream
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Her room is covered with posters of her favourite players, signed shirts and the latest Nike footballs.
And football fan Gracie Squire is hoping she will one day join her idols as part of the England women’s senior team.
The 12-year-old Bungay High School pupil has been playing football in the garden with her brothers since she was little, and at the age of nine she joined her first team.
After progressing with Bungay Town from the under 9s to the under 12s, she was then selected for the Norwich Centre of Excellence, which later changed to the Advanced Coaching Centre.
The centre is on the FA Girls’ England Talent Pathway, which leads all the way up to Gracie’s goal of playing for England. And she has now progressed to the next level at the FA Girls’ Regional Excellence Camps.
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Spread over four weekends from October to March, Gracie has been selected to travel to Northampton with a handful of other girls from Norwich, Suffolk, Bedford, Cambridge and Northampton for the under 14s team.
She said: “I’m really happy and excited.
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“My goal is to make it a career and as well as training and fixtures you also learn how to condition your body and about the right things to eat.
“And next year if I carry on doing well I could get picked for the nationals.”
The next step is the FA Girls’ National Performance Camp, followed by the England under 15s up to under 20s teams and then the final goal of the England women’s senior team.
Gracie said: “I just love the competitiveness. It gives you the drive to do something to better yourself.”
She also plays for the Waveney Meerkats under 13s boys team, with training in Lowestoft on Wednesdays and matches on Sundays, as well as training at the Norwich Advanced Coaching Centre on Mondays and with the Norwich girls’ academy on Thursdays.
Her mum Sylvia Squire said: “We are very proud of her. She works extremely hard, she’s very committed and she listens to her coaches. They have nurtured her through this whole process and given her so much support.”