Former Charlton Athletic defender, Olivia Smith has recently announced an exciting change in career, trading Three Lions for the three seaxes and becoming a police officer with Essex Police.
Police Constable Smith, picked up sixteen England caps at Under-16 to Under-19 levels and has previously played for Chelsea and West Ham United.
Olivia completed her eighteen-week training course at Essex Police College after deciding on a change of direction away from the professional game and is now a member of Grays Local Policing Team.
So, since January, she’s managed a challenging schedule of full-time police training alongside football training three nights a week, with games for Charlton Athletic at the weekend against teams including Liverpool, Leicester City and Sheffield United.
Smith said: “I always had a passion for forensics and wanted to become a detective, so I applied to Essex Police. I’m really happy I did apply because I love it.” Smith believes that the qualities she’s developed as a footballer will stand her in good stead for a career in Policing, “I’m really dedicated to everything I do,” Olivia said. “You have to be with sport. You have to put in a lot of time and effort. It’s a lot of commitment and dedication and I feel that I can now put commitment and dedication into another source.
“There are so many different career pathways with the police and I wanted a career where I wouldn’t get bored easily and had a goal. I feel with the police you can always progress and, for me, it’ll be good to always have something to aim high for. I strive to be the best in everything I do.”
The cultured 21-year-old defender looks set to be able to continue her footballing career having recently signed with National League South’s Ipswich Town. Smith is no stranger to Smith, having been her coach when she was played youth football with Barking Abbey Girls.