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Brenna McPartlan - My Time Before America

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

It had always been a dream of mine to become a student athlete in America and I am very lucky to be living that dream at the moment at LSU.

I started youth football playing in a boys’ team until I joined Blackburn rovers Centre of Excellence at 8 years old. Being from Blackburn, this was perfect, and I played here for around 7-8 years. I loved my time at Rovers, however I moved on to Liverpool for my U16’s season due to them having a professional women’s team and a development squad. Being a big Liverpool fan, this was an amazing experience for me in which we became league champions before I headed to the development squad.

Throughout my time at these two clubs, I was attending England Camps which were always great experiences. Early into playing with Liverpool development squad, I made the switch to Man City as I also played netball, which it’s training nights clashed with Liverpool’s. From the first day at Manchester City, I was treated like a professional. We trained in the best facilities with great coaches. During my time at City, I got the opportunity to train with the first team many times, play in friendlies for them, and make the bench on an occasion which were all great learning experiences. Every Tuesday night the team would stay over at the hotel in the training ground ready for a double session Wednesday which I always enjoyed.

For the development squad, I loved every single minute, and I captained my team to becoming league and FA Cup champions which was a huge honour. I also made the switch to play for Northern Ireland. I am half Irish, lots of my family still live there so when I got the opportunity to represent NI at a European finals we were hosting, I jumped at the opportunity. To play in a European finals, against the likes of Spain and Germany in front of thousands of home fans was an incredible experience.

My team made history that competition being the first Northern Irish team to score a goal in a major competition. Being such a small country competing against European giants, this was something to be proud of. My youth football experiences were some of the best times of my life. I loved going to practice every single day just as much as I loved games at the weekend.

In part 2, I will be talking about the transition into life as a student athlete at the first University I attended which was the University of South Alabama.

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