Back in September, a “proud” Danielle Turner spoke of her “honour” in becoming Everton Ladies’ new captain.
Four months on and it’s a job the 25-year-old is relishing, even if it has taken a while to settle into. Ably supported by vice-skippers Gabby George and Georgia Brougham, Turner has led the side to seventh place in the WSL 1 table and to the quarter-finals of the Continental Cup.
Not a bad start to life with the armband, even though it has had its challenges along the way.
“I never expected to be named captain so I had to adapt to it,” admits Turner. “Being the person I am, I needed time and games to grow into the role. It’s a challenge being the quiet character, so improving the vocal side of things was the toughest thing for me. I want to become more vocal on and off the pitch, not just for those 90 minutes but also after when we are analysing games.
“I would like to think I already had that professionalism about me, and the girls feel I am approachable and they can talk to me about anything so that was probably the easiest thing.
“I feel I have done pretty well. Andy (Spence) seems pleased with the way I have taken on the role. I had a conversation with him before Christmas and he was pleased with the way I started the season. He wants to see me grow into it as the season progresses.
“I am really happy with how it’s gone, but I still want to continue to improve as a leader on and off the pitch, so I am looking to get better.”
Turner’s job could have been much harder given the start the Ladies made to the season on their return to WSL 1, losing their first four league games against tough opposition. Yet heads never dropped, and the Toffees were rewarded with a strong run in the Continental Cup, reaching the quarter-finals, and picking up league wins against Yeovil and Sunderland to kick-start their campaign.
The versatile skipper admits it was the collective group that refused to let the slow start affect them and is thankful she has such a resilient squad to lead.
“That is more credit to us as a group of players,” she said of the challenging start. “I don’t think I was the particular reason, it was the group as a whole. We all stuck together even when it got tough.
“We didn’t have the best of the starts but the performances were getting better and better. We knew results would follow so I think it is testament to us as a group of girls that we never let our heads drop.
“Once we got the results, confidence was growing week in and week out. That’s all down to the girls’ characters and the team spirit we have.”