Perfect gnashers

More grit than glamour

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Leeds legend Rachel Daly playing for England

Rachel Daly earned her first opportunity to represent her country by trialling in an ASDA car park at the age of 10. In 2002, the FA were still seven years away from offering their first professional contract to a women’s player, so trying out for the Fox Kids Cup between the car wash and the trolley shed was about as glamorous a life in football young Rachel could imagine for herself.

She was really good at football and, coming from a Leeds United loving family, it was both no surprise and a massive deal when she was asked to join the Whites’ centre of excellence. Rachel was lining up alongside youngsters who were playing for a girls team on a Saturday, a boys team on a Sunday, then training with Leeds with proper coaches — not just someone’s dad — throughout the week. Could Rachel keep up?

Yes, and then some. At the end of a season in which, with 46 goals, she outscored all of her male teammates at Killinghall Nomads, and bagged a cool 40 for Leeds United Under-10s, too, little Rach had her sights set beyond the borders of Yorkshire. But she’d have to prove her worth in an Asda car park, first.

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