My Everton #137: My Daughter Just Scored For The Blues

My daughter just scored for Everton, and I couldn’t be prouder. 

It was a ridiculous day. Issy getting on against a side like Arsenal would have been enough but to come on, score and become the league’s youngest-ever scorer... it’s just absolutely brilliant. 

Issy comes from a family full of Blues, and you could tell how much it meant to her and the way the girls celebrated with her. It’s what this Club is about. 

Myself, Issy and her brother, Joe, are all season ticket holders for the Men's team, and it’s been an incredible week for us all.  

We’ve been sat in the same seats in the Upper Bullens for the past ten years, and I never thought anything would top the derby win at Goodison last week. It was the first time Issy had seen us beat them at Goodison. 

But then the goal for Issy caps off an amazing week and we’re all just so incredibly proud of her. 

As her dad, it’s important we keep her grounded. She knows there’s still loads to do, and she has her GCSEs coming up which she has a lot of revision still to do!  

To support this Club alongside your children, there is no better feeling. It brings me back to when I was younger, and my dad took me to my first game. 

It was a midweek game against Derby County, I was only five years old. Under the lights at Goodison, Bob Latchford scored, and we won 2-0. It was the moment for me that I realised, ‘Wow, this is something special', and that never goes away.

Following the team through the 1980s was glorious. I was there for that Bayern Munich game and when we won the league against QPR. Seeing those things and sharing that time with my dad, brother and sister is something I’ll never forget. 

The moment that stands out most for me was when we played Bayern Munich, but not the game itself. I was about 12 at the time and coming out the gate after the final whistle, I vividly remember seeing the absolute joy on people’s faces. It was the first time we had reached a European final, moments after Trevor Steven scored our third, and the emotion of the day really hit me.  

Nowadays, the moments that mean the most to me are the ones that I’m able to spend alongside my kids. 

As your children grow up, it’s natural that they begin to drift and follow their own interests. But for us, we continue to have Everton in common. 

Going to the games every other weekend, experiencing those last-minute winners and the time you get with your kids is priceless.  

Once you have a bond with Everton, it gets passed on for generations. It’s really special and while this Club can drive you bonkers at times, it’s also the most amazing thing in the whole world.  

To now see my daughter wear that Everton jersey and represent this Club, my pride is immeasurable.

Growing up Issy played for a boys' team (Woolton Leverkusen) and that helped make her into the player you see today. She represented the year six boys' team in year five at Bishop Eton, her junior school, and never looked out of place. 

I can remember when she was six or seven and the opposition coach would make a comment about the best player on the team being a girl. I would say to her before a game, ‘They’re laughing that they have a girl on the team’ and the first thing she would do is put the world’s biggest tackle in and show them that she was more than capable of being there.  

Around that time, Issy began training with Everton’s Under-10s and has worked her way up the ranks ever since.  

It was a few weeks before her 15th birthday that she got asked to go train with the first team. She went along not knowing what to expect and I picked her up later that day. She got into the car and said, ‘Oh my god, they are so good!’ 

That early exposure to that environment inspired her to put the work in to improve and now 18 months or so on, you are seeing the benefit of that.

The expectation for her this season was only to make the bench in one of the League Cup games, so to see what has happened instead is beyond any of our expectations.  

The day of her WSL debut was a whirlwind. She was due to train with the Under-16s that morning, but Brian Sorensen came along and asked her to travel to be part of the squad to face Manchester City.  

I followed the coach, got into the ground and then in the final few minutes I see her number go up on the board.  

Issy made her senior debut in the League Cup earlier this year, but this felt more special. She was coming on against one of the best teams, and in one of the best leagues in the world.  

It was a glossy eye moment, to see her come on and represent the Club.  

Issy knows it’s a big responsibility and in her mind, she knows that she isn’t just playing football, but she’s representing Everton.

She was disappointed after the City game because we lost and I had to tell her to enjoy the moment, her first-ever WSL appearance. That’s the type of person Issy is, she always wants to win.  

She told me once that she doesn’t just want to play for Everton, she wants to win things with Everton. She is absolutely laser focused that she has to win something for her Club and the fans as she knows how desperate we all are to see silverware again.

That self-determination and desire to win is the mentality you want from a player coming through.  

She has taken it all in her stride and the squad have been great helping her adapt to this new level. 

One day when Issy came back from training, and it had been pouring down all day. She told me that she went in for a slide tackle and went through the back of Martina Piemonte. She got up, turned to Issy and gave her a nod to say, ‘Yes, keep giving me more of that.’  

I think it was in that moment she realised, ‘I’m in the mix now'. 

The girls can see Issy is up for the challenge. She isn’t there to take in the experience, she’s there to be taken seriously and show why she is worthy of a spot in the squad. 

That’s her philosophy. Keep showing at that level that she might not be ready today, but she is working to show that one day she could play a bigger part in this side.  

All of the girls have been fantastic, Megan Finnigan has been giving her advice, same with Toni Duggan. Over the past few weeks Martina has been helping with Issy’s Spanish homework too!  

There is something quite fantastic about the women’s game. The players are always approachable, they are generous with their time with fans, they are brilliant. 

When you come to matches you see players and fans who have a genuine love for the game. It brings you back to the fundamentals of what football is about.  

This is hopefully just the start of Issy’s journey at Everton, and I can’t wait to see how much she achieves in the years to come. 

But first, she has her GCSEs to pass!  

By Stephen Hobson, Evertonian and father of Issy Hobson

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