Here she talks about why she joined the newly-formed council, and how she is keeping busy during the football shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
How has the pandemic affected your normal life?
I am at my home in Manchester. I try to look at the positive side of things. Normally I don’t get the opportunity to spend time here during the season. It’s given me time to do things I wouldn’t normally have time for: I’ve painted the fence, painted the spare room, I’ve put up shelves. I speak by Skype to my closest family who are in Sheffield – my mum and dad, and my brother’s family.
How do you stay fit?
I have a 9 m2 piece of Astro-Turf in the garden, and a knee-high tennis net and teqball, which is like ping-pong with a football. I spend about one hour or so on football technique in the garden, then I do weights and 45 minutes on the watt bike. I ordered the bike just before the lockdown. I have made a gym in the spare room. I am probably doing more than when I’m training normally. I’m still motivated. I quite enjoy pushing myself even when I don’t have an end goal.
Are you in contact with your teammates?
We have a week by week training instructions from Lyon and England, and I’m on group chats with both of them. My phone is constantly pinging with updates. Dawn Scott, the England head of sports science, has been asking for the best recipe for fruit smoothies. It’s giving us something to focus on. We look at different proteins, ideas to boost our immune systems.
“Players don’t always know what is happening – we are told to just go and play football.”— by Lucy Bronze, FIFPRO Global Player Council
How did you hear about the FIFPRO Global Player Council?
I saw the announcement on Twitter. I’m good friends with Jodie Taylor, who was already on the council and she suggested I should join, and that’s when FIFPRO got in touch. I am very excited to be involved and to help make a difference. I’ve grown into a position of leadership as England vice-captain and I’m quite involved in central contract talks with the national team. I enjoy being involved. It’s a bit harder at Lyon because I am not fluent in French.
Does that leadership role come naturally to you?
I’ve had strong females in my life who have influenced me. When I was a schoolgirl and told I couldn’t play football with boys any more, my mother Diane got straight on the phone to complain. My auntie Julie was in the police force in Newcastle for 30 years. She complained she had to chase people down alleyways wearing a skirt, the regulation dress code when she joined. She was active in trying to change things.
What do you hope the Global Player Council achieves?
Players are sometimes criticized about what’s going on in the game but we don’t always know what is happening – we are told to just go and play football. In women’s football, we want to give our advice about the game but it’s difficult to have a voice. The message of the Global Player Council is that we are stronger together than as individuals. If we can work together then we can have a louder voice. Having men and women together on the council helps with sharing information. We can help each other.
What have you been discussing on your first Global Player Council calls?
I’ve been on four videoconference calls in the last few weeks. We have discussed racism and discrimination and gender equality but obviously the conversation is now dominated by the impact of the coronavirus. We invited other players such as Sara Gama from Juventus and Toni Duggan from Atletico Madrid on two of the calls. They play in the countries which have been most affected in Europe.
Are women’s football clubs doing a good job at looking after players during the coronavirus shutdown?
Women’s clubs are trying to do their best but across Europe and the world there are so many different ways of coping with the situation. Some clubs are more forward-thinking than others. In some countries players don’t have gym equipment and they are having difficulty to keep up their fitness.
What do you feel about the rescheduling of this year’s Olympics and next year's European Championship?
It’s obviously a shame for everyone, organizers, athletes and fans, but at least they haven’t been cancelled. It’s very important that people get healthy - health comes first - and we try to get past this virus together.