Toni Duggan: Winning in Canada would change perceptions forever

England and Manchester City forward Toni Duggan on the challenges she has faced en route to the summit...

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

"Being a young female footballer was tough. At school, I was the little girl from Year 3 trying to get the ball off the Year 6 boys, but it didn't faze me. I loved it. I had two brothers and I'd always play with them. 

"I played in boys' teams and remember having to take my kit home because I couldn't get changed with them in the dressing room. I used to get stick for being the only girl, but derogatory comments from the opposition simply inspired me to do better and train harder.

"I got an England call-up when I was 12 but I could've easily drifted off into something else. Luckily, I had the support of people around me; my mum, team-mates and coaches. Playing football involves sacrifice, but it's worthwhile when your'e achieving things you never thought possible. Women's football has worked hard to get to where it is today - and we're continuing to develop a pathway for girls coming through. My aim is to win something with England, hopefully this year. That's what every footballer dreams of."