North Wales women’s football greats: No 1 – Alison Mummery

Ali Mummery (2 – red) on her Wales Under-19 debut

Former Manchester United, Wales, Llangefni Town and Caernarfon Town player Alison Mummery was an awesome defender.

She has already been selected in three of the four all-time North Wales Dream XI’s chosen by players for Grassroots North Wales.

Here is a Q & A with the Anglesey girl who has travelled the world in her football career.

At what age did you start playing football and what attracted you to the game?

I was kicking a ball with my dad since I can remember.

Growing up in the small village of Llansadwrn there wasn’t much to do, only to go out with friends and kick a ball with the boys and I was fortunate enough that football came naturally to me.

What was the name of your first team?

Menai Bridge Tigers U7s. I was the only girl playing in the team. I remember we were a cracking little team.

What position did you play as a youngster and did you play in the same position as a senior?

As I’m left-footed I played mostly on the left wing in my younger years.

I was quick, skillful and could run up and down the wing all day long. As I got older I was playing a lot more centre-mid and also left-back.

You played for Manchester United ladies. When was this? Did you win anything with the club? What were your best memories?

Alison (front row – third from left) at Manchester United

I played for Manchester United from when I was 13 until I was 16 years old. I did 3 seasons from U-14 to U-16. I absolutely loved it.

We won the league each year and it was just an amazing feeling lifting the trophy for the Lancashire League.

The set up was like nothing I had ever experienced before. We trained at the famous Cliff training ground.

I remember the England team training there one Saturday afternoon and we also had a game on that day.

I was starstruck when the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand were just feet away and came over to talk to us girls after they trained. That was a memory that I will never forget.

Which senior teams have you played for in North Wales and what did you win with them?

Alison (front row – furthest right) celebrates another cup success with Caernarfon Town

I played for Llangefni women’s team aged 14 to 19. Karen Williams, “Flip” as we know her, was the manager then. We won the league each year. I then took a few years away from football.

I was later approached to play for Caernarfon Town Ladies and was with them for a few years, winning the North Wales League and then progressed into the Welsh Premier League.

What were your strengths and weaknesses as a player?

Gosh that’s a hard one to answer about yourself! I suppose my strengths would be that I was able to read the game, I was a good tackler, had a good left foot.

I was just so passionate about the game. I suppose my weakness was that I didn’t like to lose, but who does!

Who was the most talented team-mate you played alongside?

Jess Fishlock. Picture: FAW Trust – David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

I have played with many talented players over the years and I have learnt so much from each and every one of them.

I suppose they are the people who made me the player I am today, but I do have one that stands out.

When playing for Wales I played alongside Jess Fishlock. It speaks for itself that she is now the most capped Wales women international with 120 caps and 30 goals. Such an inspiration on and off the field.

Who has been the biggest influence on your football career?

Dad and daughter

That has got to be my dad, Hefin.

He has been there with me since day one, taking me to South Wales when I was training with Wales. Also taking me to Manchester three times a week when I played for Manchester United.

Took me every single training session and game for whoever I played for. He never missed a game. He was there 100% behind me supporting me and would also be the one telling me if I wasn’t playing my best.

He gave up his life so I could achieve my dreams and I will be forever thankful for everything he has done for me.

You are still only 32 years of age. Would you consider a comeback?

I know, 32, I’m still a spring chicken.

I have thought many times about a comeback to the game that I love. You see I’m the kind where if you commit you have to commit 100% for your team.

I had an op on my knee a few years back, ligament damage due to football, then had my little boy Cai so I took a few years away.

I’m not totally out of football. I coach Gaerwen Under 11’s at the moment too. I always fear and think will I be as good as I was before? But you never know until you try so there may be a comeback soon!

Do you feel women’s football gets much better media coverage than it did when you were in your prime?

Without a doubt! When I was in my prime I travelled the world with Wales.

I’ve been to America, Portugal, Denmark etc and there was no women’s football coverage back then. We were not on television/in the papers and social media like we are now.

Women’s football has come a long, long way in the last 15 years, and I’m so happy that it’s finally getting the recognition that it should. To see all these amazing and talented players playing and progressing is just amazing.

What is the biggest highlight of your football career?

That has got to be when I was first capped for Wales at the age of 15 for Wales Women’s U-19’s. It was the most amazing feeling in the world and my biggest achievement in football.

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