Olivia Steele has been a regular face in the Harlow Town Ladies over the past 3-seasons and has contributed plenty of important goals with 24 in 55 appearances but how well do you know her? We had a chat to see where her football has taken her, the best of her journey so far and her ambitions for the season whilst also getting to know her better!
Loyalty had struck high with Steele, having only really featured for two clubs in her career so far. “I’ve actually only ever played for two clubs. I started off at my local club Bishop’s Stortford in the development training programme when I was 7 and stayed until I was 15. In my last season, Dean was my manager and he got the opportunity to be the under 18’s manager at Harlow so myself and a few others moved to the club with him.”
When it came to her favourite club, it was certainly tough to choose as both clubs played a huge parts in different years of her life. “I feel that both clubs I’ve been at, have played such a huge part in my life. Bishop’s Stortford shaped my childhood and being at Harlow has taught me so much more on and off the pitch. At both clubs, I’ve had amazing friends so I’m going to have to say, I’ve enjoyed both equally the same.”
Harlow sit in 4th after 5-games with a record of won 3, drew 1 and lost 1 whilst also reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup. For Steele, although they hadn’t hit the same heights as the previous season in the league, it had still be a good start to a tough season. “Even though we have failed to remain unbeaten, I feel that the team become a lot stronger both on and off the pitch and we’ve had a great start to the season. Getting this far in the FA Cup had also been a good achievement for the girls.”
Steele had been involved in some incredible games over her years with Harlow but she opted to choose the penalty shootout win over Royston Town as one of her favourites. “I think it would have to be the FA Cup match this season against Royston. Even though we did lose a 3-0 lead, it was the first penalty shootout I’ve been involved with Harlow and nothing excites me more than pens.”
When it came to her toughest opponent, Olivia Steele had a few in mind. All the sides had improved their squads meaning the season would be tougher and so would each individual match. “There’s a collection of tough opponents that we’ve played; Wroxham and Peterborough[Northern Star] are among them but I think that we’ve always struggled to perform against Wymondham so I’m going to pick them.”
It’s always great when someone had many friends in the team but for her best friend in the team, it was another tough one to answer. “I’m going to have to say another cliché answer,” she said. “I would class every single girl on that team my best friend and also a sister to me. Obviously there are certain individuals I’m closer to but I love everyone.”
“I obviously really enjoy playing with everyone but I really do have to say anyone that plays in the middle three really do fill my heart with joy when I’m playing with them. They are always so strong and reliable.”
When it comes to three things she can’t live without and her biggest fears, it was more about feeling comfortable for Liv. “My whole life is spent on my laptop so that’s probably number one [thing I can’t live without]. Also I think music is a massive part of my life; music therapy honestly exists and the third is probably my car (It’s called Buster if anyone’s wondering).”
“I have to admit I am scared of the typical things such as spiders and snakes, but for a deeper answer it absolutely scares me to walk into a full room of people. To overcome this, I always try and get to places early so I’m the first one there, whether it’s a lecture or work meeting. The anxiety if I don’t is pretty overwhelming.”
Away from football, she had plenty of interested towards a career but also enjoys plenty of other sports. ” I actually really enjoy my job as a lifeguard. It gives me such a sense of responsibility as I know how to saves lives. Many people overlook this part of me as many think I am not capable. I would love to pursue a career as a firefighter after I have finished my degree in business and media.”
“I’ve got to quite a high level in athletics on the field. I’ve completed in numerous national competitions throwing the javelin and shotput and have been number one in the country for the javelin in my under 17’s season. I also swam at county level, swimming for Bishop’s Stortford. I felt I had to give these sports up even though I showed good potential as they didn’t fill me with joy so I chose to stay true to myself and gave all my attention to football. I’ve also got a national title in futsal with Bishop’s Stortford.”
And your ambitions as a footballer?
“My aspiration in football is to simply just have a good time and play amazing football with some amazing people and just make good memories really.”
Photos: Matt Bacon (Bacon0butty), Lewis Murphy (@lewis_murphy15) and Jas (Harlow College Student)