Tottenham full-back Ashleigh Neville reflects on her journey from quitting her teaching job to pursue football to becoming one of the Women’s Super League’s consistent performers.
Although Ashleigh Neville missed out on England’s squad for the Euros, she remains hopeful of achieving a dream national team call-up. Neville played a crucial role in Spurs’ fifth-place finish in 2022 and continued to deliver excellent performances during a challenging period for the club.
Despite the emergence of new talents and positional changes, Ashleigh Neville remains committed and proud to be in her fifth season as a full-time professional under manager Robert Vilahamn at Tottenham.
“I always wanted to play for England,” Ashleigh Neville told the press ahead of next week’s north London derby with Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“That was kind of my dream when I was a kid, but I never thought I would play professional football when I was a young girl because it wasn’t possible back then.
“I am obviously proud of where I have come from and where I’m at.
“Since Robert’s come in, it has probably been the most consistent I have been as a player looking back at stats and games.
“If that call-up comes, it comes, and it would be nice to play for my country, but we have a great team so I can’t really fault the (England) girls for what they do.
“I am just happy at Spurs and that’s where my head and focus is at, but if that call comes then great.”
Ashleigh Neville tells about Spurs’ humiliating 7-0 loss
Ashleigh Neville showcased her versatility and offensive capabilities during Tottenham’s fight to remain in the Women’s Super League last season, contributing with three goals and two assists while playing various positions under former manager Rehanne Skinner.
The arrival of Robert Vilahamn as the new manager this summer brought a change in philosophy, emphasizing possession and attacking play. While Spurs experienced early success under Vilahamn, they faced a significant setback with a 7-0 defeat against Manchester City, placing them in sixth position in the league.
Neville said: “We spoke at the end of the game, and a few people were disheartened, which I understand because no one likes losing especially not when it’s 7-0, but I said in the huddle this won’t define our season.
“It is one game out of the eight we’ve played and we’ve had a really good start. We can’t sit on it. We have to park it and move on and that’s what the girls are ready to do.”