PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY MAIDMENT
WORDS BY VICTORIA McINTYRE
MAKE-UP & HAIR BY HANNAH SORCHA
Leah is a footballer, a tenacious defender for childhood club Arsenal, and honoured with the captaincy of the Lionesses for the 2022 European Championships taking place on home soil this summer.
Leah talks to us about the work she has done behind closed door to improve who she is as a person, as well as an athlete.
Congratulations on being awarded the captaincy for the Euros. What were your initial thoughts and feelings when Sarina (Wiegman, manager of England Women’s team) offered you the role?
My gut told me straight away to say yes. But I was also wary. It’s a big role, especially in this country. I’ve never done it before, but I’ll learn as I go. If I wasn’t totally committed to it, I wouldn’t have taken it. But I think I’m at a stage in my life where I could sit with it and realised that I was totally comfortable, which hopefully means I’ll be able to give my best to it.
Having never started for England in a major tournament, the journey to captaincy hasn’t been the most conventional. Reflecting on your life and career so far what do you think has brought you to this role?
In a lot of ways, it has been conventional. I’ve grown up at Arsenal and ticked boxes as I’ve gone through. I’ve never taken anything for granted and I’ve had to work hard. I’m probably the skinniest centre back in the world, so I’ve had to find ways around areas that aren’t my natural strengths. All that has been getting me ready for what was to come, I just kept my head down and kept working hard. Football is a game of opinions, but I’ve felt ready for a long time.
Read Leah's full interview in Issue 01 of Club71