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Interview with Zoe Barratt

It’s been a massively disrupted season from Ipswich Town Women, with games being halted and started, not just for the First Team, but also the u21s’. Zoe has been banging in goals consistently for the youth side and has been award by Joe Sheehan with games in the First Team. The young Attacker, originally from Cambridge, has really stepped up to the plate when called upon and put in some very encouraging displays, even getting herself on the scoresheet. Zoe has formed a really good partnership with fellow Attacker Maddie Biggs in the u21s’ with both players contributing consistently with Goals and Assists.

We caught up with Zoe to take a look at her progress this season.

What team do you support?
Cambridge Utd!

Which footballer, men’s or women’s, would you love to play alongside?
Phil Foden or Fran Kirby, such good decision makers

Who inspires you?
No one in particular, I’ve been going to watch football since I was 4 and just watching the game inspires me – and all I ever wanted to do was play football. However apart from Cambridge Utd players, my favourite player is Lionel Messi!

Do you have any pre match rituals?
Don’t really have any rituals, but I prepare myself so that I can perform to the best of my ability; e.g. what I eat and drink.

Which 4 team mates would you pick in your 5-a-side?
Paige Peake, Molly Sutherland, Sophie Peskett, Lucy O’Brien

As a Cambridge Utd fan, you must be chuffed with the promotion?
Yes I was buzzing! The last few games were nerve racking, but when we won on the last game and I went to the stadium to celebrate, it was amazing!

Are you going to be Blue and White or Yellow and Black when they play Ipswich in League One next season?
I’ve been a season ticket holder for Cambridge since I was 4, so I’m afraid for that game I’m going to have be to be yellow and black!

It’s been a disrupted season, how have you dealt with the interruptions?
It’s been frustrating to not train and play as much as we normally do, but I used the lockdowns as an opportunity to really work on all areas of my game. Saying that we were fortunate as U21s to return to training in January and managed to play a good number of games in the end.

Although the Academy side has only played 4 league games so far, it’s been a good start with 3 wins on the board?
Whilst we’ve only played 4 league games we have also played a lot of friendlies against some good sides like London Bees and finishing off the season with a win against Arsenal. I see it as a successful season and I feel we have really gelled as a team.

You’ve played a fair bit more for the first team this season, how have you found playing for both First Team and Academy?
I want to play as many games as possible so I can develop as a player, so playing Wednesdays and Sundays is something I enjoy.

We’ve seen you play through the middle and out wide, where do you prefer to play?
I don’t really have a preference, I enjoy playing in any of the attacking positions as I feel it is developing my overall game. I just like to be able to create attacks, finish attacks and link up play.

Lucy O’Brien has been making a name for herself this season. She’s bedded into the team fairly well?
Lucy’s a really good player, I know her well from playing with her at Mk Dons RTC and through school football. We know each other’s game really well so it’s good to play with her.

For you personally, is next season about keeping in Joe’s mind and making more movement into the First Team?
All I’ve ever done is just focus on myself and my development as a player. I will just keep working hard and improve my game to see where it takes me in the future.

Do you look up to the likes of Tash and how others play in your position?
I have a lot of respect for Tash, her goal scoring record speaks for itself and she is a great role model for the younger players. I also like to watch lots of players who play in my positions like Fran Kirby and Ellen White and try to learn from them.

What goals are you setting for yourself for next season?
I feel this season I have really developed as a player, and all I am thinking about at the moment is working hard during off season and pre season. Next season is going to be exciting with hopefully playing in the league above against better opposition and I want to be apart of that.

What part of your game do you feel has most improved this season?
I generally feel more confident as a player this season, and I have really worked hard on improving the consistency of my finishing. I feel that this has shown in games this year for both the U21s and First Team.

How have you found Charlie Baxter since he joined the club?
I think we are lucky at Ipswich that we have such great coaches and staff – and Charlie has added to that. I think he’s a really good coach and I already feel he has helped me improve as a player, and helped us develop as a squad.

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