Katy Hosford announced as Swansea's PL Kicks Hero
Swansea City Ladies midfielder and Swansea City Community Trust PL Kicks coach Katy Hosford was yesterday awarded the title of Swansea City’s Premier League Kicks Hero at a PL Kicks Girls session.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the PL Kicks programme, Hosford was presented with a bespoke comic strip of her footballing journey designed by Marvel and DC Comics artist John McCrae. Swans goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and club ambassador Lee Trundle were on hand to present Katy with her comic strip and even got involved in the session.
Katy, who has been involved with PL Kicks since the age of 16 was delighted to see her story transformed into a comic strip, “I was really surprised when I first saw it, I love it!
“I can’t believe how much thought has gone into it, and it just explains my story from day one and how I’ve progressed to doing what I do now,” she added.
The event was held at Baglan Boy’s and Girl’s Club where it all started for Katy back in 2013, and was covered by Sky Sports News, which proved surreal for Katy. “When I think back to day one, I never would have thought that I would come this far. If someone had told me I would have probably laughed,” the 19-year-old explained.
Hosford has credited her success to the PL Kicks programme run by Swansea City Community Trust.
“If I didn’t go to those PL Kicks sessions I wouldn’t be the player I am today.
“They’ve not only developed my skills and technical ability but helped me to be a leader, play within a team and to be in that environment every week. It’s definitely helped me to progress as an individual,” she added.
As well as playing a key role in Swansea City Ladies’ title race and completing her studies at University, Hosford is now a part-time football coach with the PL Kicks programme.
“We go around schools, take sessions for girls and try to make them as fun as we can involving a football. They’re learning and half of the time they don’t even realise it. I’ve got great people around me and they’re helping me to learn everyday, so I’m really enjoying it,” said Hosford.
From her participation with the project, Katy is a firm advocate of the Kicks programme and recommends it to any young budding footballers.
“Now people are coming and are bringing their friends, it’s just a way to get out of the house, do something and then you just fall in love with the sport,” explained Katy.
Additionally, Katy utilises the skills and knowledge she gains at the Swans Ladies training sessions and her recent training camp with the Senior Welsh Women’s squad in her Kicks coaching sessions.
“Even if it’s just things like the sessions that Ian (Owen) puts on for us, I like to pick things out of them and maybe alter them a bit for the younger age groups,” stated Hosford who has amassed 25 Welsh caps at Under-16 to Under-19 level.
“I’m always picking up ideas and just developing myself as well,” she added.
After presenting the comic strip to Katy, Swans goalkeeper Mark Birighitti talked about the influence that Katy has had on women’s football in the local area.
“She’s doing a great job! Katy's done a lot for women’s football so it’s a real privilege to be here at this special event,” explained Mark.
“It’s good to see women’s football growing, not only here but abroad as well,” he added.
Birighitti highlighted the importance of programmes such as Kicks in producing the next generation of football stars.
“Grassroots is important, this is where it all starts. Growing up as a kid this is where it started for me as well and to come out to these events it brings back memories of when I was a kid.
“It’s a good stepping stone and I like to give back to grassroots as much as possible because I used to be one of these kids.
“It’s really important. When you enjoy your football, the rest takes care of itself,” he finished.
“With the football club it’s about getting out in the community and these are the Swans fans of the future, so we want to get out to as many events as we can and get the kids involved in football. These type of events are brilliant for that” added Lee Trundle.
In recent weeks, Trundle has had the opportunity to watch Katy and her Swans Ladies teammates in action at Llandarcy Academy of Sport and he's been impressed by what he's seen.
“I’ve enjoyed it, it’s nice to see the Ladies team doing really well” said Lee.
“They’re attracting good crowds, so it’s nice to go see them and see them improving” he finished.
If you want to get involved or to find out more information about the PL Kicks programme, contact Ian Owen the PL Kicks Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org