Hannah Marshall Interview

20th August 2020

“I kept committed to training and playing.”
One club player, Cheltenham Town Ladies’ winger Hannah Marshall on her long-lasting time at the club.

By Bruna Reis

Over 4,200 miles from home, Hannah Marshall is set to embark on a new escapade across the Atlantic to a lively, skyscraper estate where football is sacred.    

In a previous interview for Gloucestershire Live earlier this year, Marshall admitted: “My dream has always been to make it to America.”

The American Dream is now pending as she fondly packs away all the memories shared on and off the pitch during her 12 years at Cheltenham Town Ladies to join Dodge City Community College in the state of Kansas.

She recalls it all began with her kicking a ball, more precisely inflated balloons as young as a three year old before a former Cheltenham Town Ladies’ player took her to training one day.

Marshall progressed through the ranks of the Robinesses and had recently been featuring in the Ladies Development team in the South West Regional Women’s Football League just over a year ago, following her move from the under-18s.

Then managers, Cameron Cheal and Sarah Haden-Godwin registered a record-breaking finish in back-to-back seasons, finishing third in 2018/19 and fourth in 2019/20 respectively.

The winger discloses the secret of a delightful period at the club, netting four goals in her 12 appearances last season.

“Determination, discipline and teamwork,” she says.

“I have been committed to training and playing as I want to play at the highest level I can.”

Staying committed to Cheltenham Town Ladies was key to opening up new opportunities for the youngster with one of those coming from the FA.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to increase my skills by going to extra training and was able to play matches for them as well as my club.”

Hannah Marshall runs at a defender for Cheltenham Development against WBA Women Development. Courtesy of Gary Ware.

Bristol Academy Skills Centre was also beneficial to develop the winger’s technical ability.

“Training there allowed me to increase my skills and learn the importance of accurate passing.”

Although the winger may have stumbled with injuries along the way, Marshall is grateful for the support received and the way it helped her turn to her studies.

“I had a bad injury during my fourth season with the FA and this set me back and kept me out of the game for a bit.

“However, being supported by the FA’s sports therapist inspired me to study this for my career.”

During her years serving the Robinesses, the winger was crowned top goal scorer in the under-12s, registering an imposing statistic of netting 72 goals in a single season.

One of her favourite moment was ‘scoring the winning goal in ten minutes of the game in the under-12s Cup final,’ against neighbour rivals and League winners, Hardwick.

Receiving a call-up to join the Ladies Development team, she was familiarised enough with the team staff. Albeit, there is one appreciative mention for Jenna Lepore, the Development Team Captain.

“In the last few years, Jenna has been keen for me to move to the Ladies team.

“Jenna coached me at the age of 10s and was always trying to help me improve as a player. She put me through for county trials whilst I was playing in this age group.”

Support from everybody at the club has been fundamental to the youngster to give her all on the pitch.

“Encouragement from team mates and coaches has been helpful along with the desire to either set up a goal and score one.”

Hannah Marshall against Forest Green Ladies. Courtesy of Gary Ware.

Now her adventure begins the other side of the World where she will be embarking solitary to meet up with new protegees having signed for Dodge City Community College, alongside studying Sports Injuries and Rehabilitation.

“I was contacted by College Scholarships USA (CSUSA) to ask if I was interested in going for a trial. It just went from there.

“I am excited to meet my new team mates and I feel prepared for the hard work with both college work and my football training.”

D2 Interactive