The Big Interview - Toni-Anne Wayne
Goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne alludes to her pride and passion of playing for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies and touches on her farewell, writes Khalid Karimullah.
Q. What started your passion for football?
A. My family are huge football fans so I always played with my Brother and Dad as a kid, then when I was older I played in the same team as my Mum and Sister!
Q. What is it about your position on the pitch that attracts you to play there?
A. I love that I am able to organise the game and my players and although you aren't always as involved in the game, it is a mentally draining position.
Q. What’s been your favourite highlight whilst playing at Tottenham?
A. Personally for me, the penalty save in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup against Charlton to win the game is my personal highlight. However, winning the FAWPL at White Hart Lane is a memory that will last a lifetime.
Q. What does it mean to you when you wear the Spurs shirt and knowing that you've played an integral part in where the Club is today?
A. I'm so proud of this squad we have, we have come such a long way and worked so hard for everything that we have got. I wasn't too sure when I first joined this team, but from my first session I knew this was something special, something more than just football.
Q. Who has been your role model inside and outside the game?
A. Inside the game, I have always said as a goalkeeper, Copey (Pauline Cope). From my very first session at England with her, I have always looked up to her and her work rate. Outside the game would be my Mum, she was the first person to believe in me when she got me a trial at Arsenal. Whether it's football or not, she would be the first person I would turn to.
Q. What life skills have you learnt from playing football that you take away and will continue to implement in everyday life?
A. Football has taught me so much and has shaped the person I am today. It allows you to improve your confidence, social skills and your commitment. The main thing is teamwork and how to deal with different people and situations.
Q. What's the best advice you've been given in the game that you can share with any young girl or boy thinking about starting a career in football?
A. I think it's more about what I have learnt and that is that ability only gets you so far. You could be the best player in the country, but if you don't back that up with hard work and commitment, you will never make it.
Q. What's been key to your longevity in the game?
A. I just love playing football. It's my passion and although I have had some hard times, I've loved every minute.
Q. How have you balanced your career, football and relax time?
A. It's really hard to balance it all and when you are so committed to football and your career, then relax time suffers - but that's what retirement is for!
Q. What’s one message you would like to say to your coaches, teammates, family, friends, fans and to everyone that's had an influence on your career?
A. I would like to thank the coaches for believing in me and trusting me to be their number one for so long. To Luke (Sheldrick) for putting up with me and pushing me every session to be the best I could be. The fans for their support over the years. My friends and family; for me their help, love, support and for being OK when I put my football first.
The biggest thank you goes to my team-mates for just everything! I know I am hard work at times, but they have always stuck by me and made me realise this isn't just football, it's my family. I love each and every one of them. Come On You Spurs!
West Ham United
Photographs with thanks to Wu's Photography.