JTC Jersey Wanderers Captain, Jersey Women no.20 Muratti winner and Island Games Gold Medalist, Libby Barnett (23) has been nominated for Jersey Football Combination’s Player of the Season Awards to be announced in early July.
We’ll keep you posted on her success but in the meantime, here’s an introduction to the young lady who has also been nominated in the Pride of Jersey Awards for the Volunteer/Fundraiser category in recognition of her support for ‘Jersey 2 Africa 4 Football’ which provides aid to orphanages in Kenya.
1. Why did you join JTC Jersey Wanderers?
I joined Wanderers at the age of 9 years old with my best friend and fellow life-long Wanderer Sian Noble. We had always played football with our younger brothers and friends on the estate where we lived, but wanted more than just a kick-about. JTC JWFC ran a junior girls team, which we quickly joined and never looked back.
Over the years, from where I am standing, Wanderers has evolved from a Club into a Family. You can turn up at JTC Park on any evening and see a friendly face, and I know that decisions made by the Board and Committee are really made with every member in mind. We are stronger together and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
2. How is your team spirit generated / maintained?
As a lively group of girls, it’s quite easy to get us geared up and focused on game day. However, what is better than being a team is that we are all friends and that flows into our football. It’s easy for any new member to see the passion we have for not only the team but also for the Club – we turn up on a Sunday morning to play good football alongside friends, but also to wear the badge with pride.
3. How old were you when you started playing – what sparked your interest?
I’ve played the beautiful game ever since I can remember with my Dad and younger brother, Jack. It’s impossible not to love football in our family, so luckily I had no choice in the matter. The story continues!
4. When did you know you were a good player?
My footballing abilities always been well supported by my parents but they are also always the first people to tell me how I can constantly improve. This has kept me grounded and as such I’ll never see myself as a ‘good player’…. We can always be better.
5. How do you keep your fitness levels up in addition to your Club training sessions?
I exercise – a lot! I love to run and change my daily car commute to a cycle or run home almost every evening. I also started playing netball last season in the competitive league, so when I’m not kicking a football, I’ll most probably be throwing one, chasing one or cycling after it!
6. Which Premier team do you support?
My beloved Boys in Blue! Again, being a Barnett I had no choice in which team to support, but wouldn’t look anywhere other than super Chelsea FC.
7. Any footballing idol?
As a child, my idol was Gianfranco Zola. His speed, touch and mastery of the ball were impossible not to idolise. However closer to home, I thoroughly admire Steph Houghton and all she is doing for the Women’s game as the current England captain. Very inspirational.
8. What skills do you think may make women better players than men?
I think the term ‘better’ is a tricky one, because what does better mean? I think we play a different game which focuses on skill and game awareness.
9. Any misconceptions about women in the game you want to dispel?
Simply that ‘girls can’t play football’. It’s not an opinion whether girls can play football or not. We can and we do. And we’re actually pretty good at it.
10. Your footballing dream / future?
I’m so proud to captain the ladies at JTC Jersey Wanderers and I will be prouder to lead us to a league or cup win in the near future.
JTC JWFC Honorary Life President, Gary Dauvin, who worked with the Ladies team over the last season, commented: “Loyal and totally committed are just a few words to describe Libby. She wears her heart on her sleeve and always gives 110%. Libby, who is very young herself, is a fantastic role model to our younger girls that have joined the Club. Everyone associated with JTC Park will be rooting for her on 2 July at the Awards.”