Interview: Chelsea’s Jess Carter

The FA recently announced that the Women’s Super League will be ended with immediate effect. Chelsea currently sit second in the table but they had a game in hand over the top of the league Manchester City. During this lockdown period I was able to catch up with Chelsea’s Jess Carter about her time at Chelsea, what she has been doing in lockdown as well as her favourite moment as a blue. 

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m from Warwick but I have a dual nationality as my father is American. I’d class myself as a midfielder but in my professional career I have mainly played as a full back. Hopefully I can work towards identifying as a central player again. I support Manchester United but I show interest in whichever club I play for as well. 

Could you tell us a little bit about your experience at youth football?
During grassroots, I played for Woodloes, now called Warwick Juniors. I had an amazing experience at grassroots level and my manager at the time Dean Brandrick played a huge part in my growth as he was the one that allowed me to continue playing football by setting up a girls football team. I then went to the Birmingham Centre of Excellence at 15 and progressed to the first team at 16 where I made my debut in the Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal. I had always played midfield up until I got into Birmingham City’s first team. 

You signed for Chelsea in 2018, what has been your best moment as a blue so far?
My best moment so far would be the Continental Cup final, despite not playing it was my first taste of winning a competition since being a professional and it was just an amazing feeling to be part of because I know how hard the team worked.

How has Emma Hayes helped you develop as a player since you’ve been at Chelsea?
Emma’s made me learn a lot about myself, she’s showed and taught me more about what I need to do to be a professional and better myself on and off the pitch.

Which player/players have impacted your career the most? 
I’d say I learnt a lot from Jo Potter whilst I was at Birmingham City and now at Chelsea, I couldn’t choose just one as I learn from everyone each day.

How do you deal with setbacks?
Just by trying to prove myself again. I don’t like to fail at something so I will keep going until I succeed.    

What gets you motivated for a big game? 
I’m quite relaxed really so I don’t need much to motivate me for a game besides some good music.

If you could describe the season in three words what would they be? 
Emotional, exciting and fun.

How much of an impact do the Chelsea fans have on you when you are playing? How much have they helped you throughout this season?
Honestly when I play I don’t tend to hear the fans as I zone out but when I’m on the side its exciting to hear them and see how the fan base has increased and got louder over the past couple of years. 

What was it like to be able to play the first game of the season against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in front of 24,564 fans? 
Unfortunately I wasn’t very well for that game so I was in the stand but it was amazing to see and hear the support. 

What can you remember about your Chelsea debut? 
I honestly don’t remember much, I just remember feeling surprised at starting because I didn’t think that would have been put in.

What’s the best part about playing for Chelsea? 
The team, as cheesy as it sounds there is a great group of people at Chelsea. Everyone gets along and push each other.

How are you finding lockdown? 
I haven’t found lockdown too bad, I’m lucky enough to not live by myself so that’s helped. I’ve found it tough mentally to continue training because its not the type of exercise I enjoy but its been good to push myself. I have been doing fitness sessions with my family as well so that’s taken up a bit of time and I’ve spent more time cooking as well. 

If you had to pick a 5-a-side team of players you’ve played with, who would you pick and why? 
Ann Katrin Berger, I think she’s a good goalkeeper and good with her feet.

Ji, no other reason besides she’s incredible. 

Maren, she can play anywhere and I can never get past her in small-sided. 

Drew and Hannah, their link-up play is really good. No striker needed as they can all score.