Hearts Women

Eilidh Davies: “I want to be at that level. I want to be a pro."

8th April 2022

Seventeen-year-old midfielder Eilidh Davies is regularly cited as her teammates’ favourite player, popular with the coaching staff and squad alike, something she’s flattered but embarrassed by. When pushed as to why this might be, she offers that it’s probably because she’s “a pushover”.

But talking to this impressive young player, there’s a hint of steely determination from Davies, underneath the big smiles and warm demeanour, a sign that she won’t settle for just being the nice player in the team, but a desire to be a key player as well.

After slowly being introduced to the side last season as a 16-year-old, Eilidh has featured in 13 matches this season, reinvented as a ball-playing central midfielder, and recently completed her first 90 minutes in the Scottish Cup against Gleniffer Thistle where she won the player of the match award.

“It’s been a big season for my development so far. I know my teammates are really good and I’m still learning from them. It’s my goal to play more minutes but I know I have to earn those minutes at training and when I’m on the pitch in games. Any minutes I do get, I’m chuffed with and grateful for.

“My goal for the rest of the season is as many minutes as possible and figure out where I want to play, and what my best position is and where I play best. I really enjoy playing central midfield, and getting on the ball and dictating the play.

“I played in the third round of the cup at Gleniffer Thistle, and that was my first 90 minutes so that meant a lot to me. I have had a lot of minutes this season against the big three sides, and it’s stunning how much faster and intense it is against professional teams, the speed they move at.”

Games against the “big three” from Glasgow can be a chastening experience but for Eilidh, it’s motivational too. How can you fail to be inspired by seeing what you could become? She admits, however, there is plenty of work to be done to reach that level but that won’t stop her aiming for the stars.

“I want to be at that level, 100%, I want to be professional. With the club announcing that move to semi-professional status, that’s got to be my next goal. Imagine being paid to play football as your job? That would be sick. That’s what I want, so that’s got to be my aim.

“I think to reach that point, I need to do things sharper, and that isn’t just on the ball. I need to be half a second quicker in decision making on the ball and even think about these things before I have the ball. I always need to think about the next step before I’ve made that first one.

“It’s a case of improving my speed of thought, and then getting physically stronger. So if I haven’t thought quickly enough, I can use my body to maybe win a free kick rather than just get pushed aside. So it’s a case of all-round improvement in the immediate future.”

Lastly, with six of her teammates away representing Scotland U19s this week, Eilidh has her eyes set on a return to the squad next season after experiencing the highs of selection earlier in the campaign.

 ‘I’d love to get back into the Scotland U19 squad, I’ve been part of camps this season and loved it, and our trip away in Wales was great, I really enjoyed that. It’s all a good experience, and you’ve got to take each time as it comes because it might never happen again, so you’ve got to appreciate that, because you’ve been chosen to play with the best players in your country. “