Player Diary: Megan Stow

I like to think of myself as an extremely hardworking person, on and off the pitch and this year really tested me!

Anyone that knows me, like properly knows me, understands that I take a lot to heart. I am tough on the outside but extremely soft in the middle. I never tell anyone I don’t know or don’t like how I feel as I would never want to be seen as weak in any way, shape or form.

Quite frankly, it’s been a tough couple of years for women’s football from tier three downward. 2019/20 season came to an abrupt end, and then it’s been even worse this season. I had a tough time at the beginning of my 2020/2021 season because of things totally out of my control.

Outside of football I left a job I hated, because of who I was working for, and then again thought I’d found a good job which turned out to be even worse. However work-life for me is now much improved, I’ve been able to get an absolute dream job during this shitty situation, and focusing more on my family who honestly are everything to me. 

This difficult twelve-month period has forced me to do a lot of reflection on my career in football. I have been fortunate enough to spend time with established clubs, Charlton Athletic, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crawley Wasps, as well in California and Miami whilst also attending University.

It’s been a massive journey for me, and one I am proud of. 

I really enjoyed an amazing couple of seasons with Crawley Wasps before making the move to AFC Wimbledon in November. I struggled with the decision to leave Crawley. Those girls, that team, the staff and the things we achieved are going to be some of the best footballing memories I will ever ever have. It was the right time for me to leave and I know the door is always open.

Photos: @CrawleyWaspsLFC

Moving to AFC Wimbledon was a perfectly timed move for me, however, our old mate COVID has been trying its hardest to push me but the girls have been amazing, so welcoming and a good laugh too!

This is my reflection, my realisation that it’s O.K to be without football. It’s O.K to not want to go for a run, not want to workout. I always put so much pressure on myself, that I completely lost sight of how amazing my life is even without it. I have made so many good friends because of the sport and played with some of the most talented players in women’s football.

We all know playing the sport comes with a risk as it is. Reminding myself that stepping on the pitch is a privilege, will keep me grounded going forward.

I’m 26 now, and I know maybe some people reading this may think this is me showing off and being like “look at me” but that’s honestly the complete opposite to what I am trying to to get at.

I am very grateful for my amazing friends and family, and my boyfriend Aidan who is an absolute godsend. They’ve helped me through somewhat of a dark time in my life these past few months (this is the first time I’m admitting that btw).

The women’s football world is small and so incredibly supportive. So here’s me putting my cards on the table and admitting it’s not always plain sailing! Life has more meaning than football. And how you’re remembered as a person is even more important!

I hope that everyone continues to stay safe, look out for one another and hopefully in the not too distant future I shall be able to slip on my boots and get back out on the pitch with fans to cheer us on.