An Aston Villa and England footballer went back to her old school to help inspire the next generation of footballers.
Former Oldbury Wells School pupil Grace Smith has just returned from playing for her country in the U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, but took the time out of her training to chat about her memories of the Bridgnorth school and her life since leaving.
After answering questions, Grace gave the Year 7 girls an hour-long masterclass, including some of the drills she had picked up as part of her England training.
Stuart Farish, the head of PE at Oldbury Wells, said: “The PE department is so proud of Grace and grateful of her giving up her time to come back to the school and inspiring the young footballers of tomorrow. Grace was always a model pupil and she has really shown the girls what can be achieved if you believe in yourself and put your mind to it.”
Speaking during the question and answer session, Grace said that Oldbury Wells was still an important part of her life. She said: “Since I came to Oldbury, what I loved best about the school was the PE department.
“Since I was your age, it was great to have those games and get involved straight away.
“What was great was that the staff always wanted us to do well. We won County Cups and other competitions, but the main thing was that we all loved being part of the team.
“Oldbury have always supported me, and they still are so yes, it is a big part of my life still.
“What I would say, the most important thing is that if you are enjoying your football, keep working hard. Don’t over do it, just keep enjoying it.
“Keep asking for advice from coaches and different players and you will always keep expanding your knowledge all the time. It is always good to know if there is something that you are slightly weaker at, then you can keep working on it and getting better and better all of the time.”
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