Doncaster Rovers Belles: Becky Easton on ‘returning home’ and playing into her forties

Becky Easton, in action for the Belles against Chelsea.
Becky Easton, in action for the Belles against Chelsea.

Becky Easton says coming back to Doncaster Rovers Belles felt like returning home.

The Merseysider spent four happy years at the Belles more than a decade ago.

And she needed no further encouragement to re-sign for Doncaster when boss Glen Harris came calling over the winter.

“It’s like coming back home,” said Easton.

“I had four great years here early-2000. They were really happy times when I look back.

“We didn’t win anything, we came close to winning things, but it was possibly the happiest chunk of my career in terms of enjoyment.

“I was released from Liverpool at the end of last year and when I spoke to Glen it was a no-brainer really to come back. It’s nice to be back.”

She continued: “In some ways the club has changed, obviously with the facilities and becoming full time. That’s a big difference. I think I used to train one evening a week during my previous spell here.

“There’s also more support around the team now with off-field stuff, there’s sports science and medical staff.

“But there’s still the same kind of feeling around the club.

“It’s a nice homely club to be at and there’s a great feeling around the place. My first day back here was like coming back home again.

“There’s a great atmosphere and a great team spirit, and that’s on the pitch and off it as well.

“That unity is one of our big strengths.

“I think it’s a historical thing as well. They’ve kept people involved, like Sheila [Edmunds] has been involved since the team was first formed. The culture of the club has always been the same.”

Easton, who has 44 England caps, started for Belles in midfield in their FAWSL1 opening day defeat to Chelsea last month. She will turn 42 next week.

“At my age now I’m pleased to be playing and for me the target is to play as much as possible this season,” she said.

“I’m coming to the wrong end of my career so to be involved in the first eleven would be great.

“I’m doing a Masters in Sports Directorship so I have a bit of a business hat on as well, and I think the main aim for the off-field team is to still be in this league next year.

“With the plans for the development of the club off the pitch, I think ultimately we have to be in FAWSL1.

“As a player I want us to win as many games as possible, be competitive and be up at that top end of the table - and I think we can do that.”

She added: “Everybody asks me how I’m still playing at my age! And I’m not sure you know. I think it’s a mixture of taking care of myself, a bit of luck with injuries - touch wood I’ve never had a major injury - and just the desire to keep going. A lot of it comes down to mentality. I love the game and I dread the day I’m not playing.”