Female Player Interview: Gemma Yeldrem

Female Football in England has recently rocketed in terms of coverage and popularity, which we here at Football Fitness Federation are delighted to see. We are fully committed to supporting the development of the women’s game to its fullest potential in bringing the positive benefits of participation to everyone. We have worked with extensively with a wide range of female players who have continually progressed their performances and now play at the higher levels of women’s football in our country (player support is what we are all about here at Football Fitness Federation).

We are thrilled to be able to bring you a series of interviews featuring female players who will share their experiences on their career journeys so far. They will also be providing us with an insight into their training practices and approach to improving performances from a physical perspective. Most importantly they will be passing on those words of advice and wisdom that have assisted them on their performance pathway in the hope of helping the next generation of female players to reach their full potential and raise levels of performance in the women’s game.

We are extremely pleased to be able to kickoff our series with Bolton Wanders Midfield ‘General’ Gemma Yeldrem. Gemma had amazing success at youth level winning league titles and cups with both of her previous clubs (starting at Wigan Athletic before progressing to Liverpools Centre of Excellence) before establishing herself as part of the current Bolton Wanders team who are at present competing in the Women’s Premier League. 

Thanks for joining us today Gemma, we hope you are well? Could you please tell us when you started playing football and why?

I started playing football from a very young age, mainly due to my brother playing ha ha so I suppose I just kind of fell into it. But obviously I’ve been hooked ever since. 

Can you give us a little bit of insight into you current training with your club? 

Well I train twice a week with Bolton, each session lasts around 2 Hours. This generally involves a thorough warm up to start with, then progressing onto some technical work along with possessions drills. The second session of the week will involve our tactical work, with the main focus being on preparing the team for the weekends game.

What other physical preparation training do you do to compliment your club training?

So in between training I will do 2 sessions a week in the gym, working on my Cardio-vascular endurance and Strength. Other than that my main focus centres on recovery, so that I can make sure I get the most from each football training session by being fresh and fully ready to perform. I’d say recovery is the key part of the complimentary training I do.

What has been the best memories in your Football career so far?

I think the best memories have always been winning things. So when at Wigan Athletic and Liverpool winning the league with both clubs was special and probably the biggest accomplishment I have achieved so far.

How’s your nutrition currently?

My nutrition is good. With a lot of training nutrition is important. Its so important to be eating the correct things but more so to have the energy to perform, so with frequent training I have to make sure I take not only the right amount of energy on board but that the energy is from from healthy food sources, simple things like lean protein and good vegetables, it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

What are your favourite pre and post game meals?

I would normally eat a lot of Chicken, Rice, Pasta, Veg before and after games. Before games I would eat a lot more because my expenditure is going to be higher so I consume more calories for energy.  Post match I would eat a high protein meal to repair my muscles.

How have your performances developed? What specifically is it that you’ve done that you feel has helped you the most?

That’s a good question, I’d say the consistency of football training. Being available for training and games benefits you in all areas, more football training has benefited my fitness levels tremendously, you just can’t replicate what goes on in a game by going to the gym or going for a run.

What do you do to recover from games?

The most important thing for me is stretching and foam rolling. I feel that trying to get my muscles back to how they were before the game as quickly as possible is the priority.

What are your current footballing goals?

To just keep improving my performance every training session and every game, that’s my mindset. If I keep that mindset then I know il have given everything to being the best player I can.

What advice would you give young female players who want to play at the highest levels of the game?

Just to always work hard, there’s definitely no substitute for hard work and practice, practice makes perfect as they say. Also it’s important that you enjoy playing, that was advice I was given and it’s really helped me to stay motivated, you have to enjoy it or else what’s the point?

Who are your football role models and why?

I would have to say Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, because? Well they are the best aren’t they? Those are the levels of skill and fitness that are the highest in the world and you should always aim as high as you can.

Do you have any pre match routines or superstitions?

A None whatsoever ha ha.

How has Football Fitness Federation helped you develop your performance?

I worked with the coaches from Football Fitness Federation since my time at Wigan Athletic as a youth player and I’ve noticed significant improvements in my performance as a result. From a physical point of view the coaching, guidance and advice I’ve received have definitely improved my fitness levels. This improvement has been over a wide range of areas including strength, cardiovascular endurance, but most specifically my speed and agility.

Thank you for your time Gemma, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed speaking to you and wish you and Bolton the very best for the rest of the season.

It’s been my pleasure.


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