Stuart Barker interviews our newly appointed women’s team manager Amy Sinden
In January, up and coming Sussex side, Hastings United announced former Crystal Palace player, Amy Sinden as the manager for their newly formed women’s team for 2020/21 season. Originally from Hastings, Amy left the town and moved to North London at 16-years-old to join Tottenham Hotspur, where she played for both the academy and senior side. While this pandemic has been difficult for everyone involved in women’s football, building a new team from scratch has been made extra difficult for Amy. I was fortunate to have some time to talk with Amy and find out more about her journey in women’s football.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Amy Sinden, I’m 22 years old who is from a small seaside town called Hastings. I’ve been a midfielder for my footballing career, the highlight for me was winning the reserve premier league in 2019 with Crystal Palace. Alongside my football career, I work in the aviation industry.
Who was your biggest footballing inspiration while growing up?
My inspiration is no doubt my grandfather when it comes to men’s football, a well known and talented footballer. He was known for scoring goals… Very strangely both experiencing the same injuries, but unfortunately, we don’t match on scoring the same amount goals, I’ll give him that.
Could you tell me about your experience at youth football? I’m thinking which clubs have you previously played for, what positions have you played in and is there a particular highlight and/or lowlight?
Due to no female teams based in Hastings I had to travel to play. I was lucky enough to have found a coach who believed in me, his name was Rick Tate. He approached me to play for Guestling Rangers which was a new set up that year. We found enough girls, won every game, scoring in double figures some games. I remember lifting my first ever trophy when we became league champions in 2010 for the first time.
How important was your time at Tottenham Hotspur in your development?
Tottenham Hotspur has been a huge part of me growing up and my outlook on today’s life. I was 16 years old when I moved to London to play for Tottenham ladies and academy. I remember the day my parents waved me goodbye like it was yesterday. I knew nobody, not 1 sole. I lived in a shared family home which was 70+ miles from my family, attending a college nobody in East Sussex had heard about. Just a football club everyone dreamt to play for.
Yet 16 year old me, had been given that opportunity with the support from my family. I won’t lie some days it was hard and I wanted to give up and go home to cuddle my mum and live a ‘normal 16 year old life’ in Hastings but without a doubt it was and forever will be the best decision I had ever made. I had to learn the hard way to make friends, trust people, learn emotions, make an income, keep motivated but most importantly stay being me. I have gained friends, memories and skills I could never forget and the skills and experiences it’s given me I carry into today’s roles. I will always be grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.
How do you balance your football and your day job?
It’s been tough, Especially due to my doing shift work which involves hours as early as 5 am. But you make it work, You either Exercise at different times or eat at different times to normal. I was extremely lucky that my manager at work and within football supported each other and knew the importance of both roles.
Congratulations on your recent appoint as Hastings United Women’s Manager. How is it going for you?
Just as I thought it would, Brilliant. Despite Covid-19 being a really negative start. I have had regular updates from CEO Billy Woods, from logo changes and to players recruitment. So a very exciting time for women in Hastings next season.
At what point did you decide that you wanted to get involved in coaching?
I had already achieved my level one and two football coaching badges and said to myself ‘next season- Season 20/21 I will step down and have a rest, turns out, it was perfect timing. Weeks later of my decision I received a call from Hastings United chairman wanting a chat. Being a Hastings girl myself I was never saying no to the opportunity, especially when its making history for our town.
Where will we be able to follow Hastings United women’s exploits?
Hastings United Women will shortly be having a twitter page which you can follow updates from.
Thank you, we’ll look forward to sharing the team’s progress next season, whenever that is.
Interview by Stuart Barker