Harriet Scott: Key Worker and Key Player

Whenever you do medicine, you have to have something away from it, another focus.

Harriet Scott

Club Co-Captain Harriet Scott has been juggling her duties with Blues alongside studying at University and working in a hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the start of the season, Scott has been doing shifts at University Hospital North Midlands to help with her studies at Keele University.

Speaking to the media, the Irish defender offered an insight into what she has been doing during her time with the NHS: “Throughout the year we have gone round in different rotations and done different blocks. I’ve been on a surgery block, medicine, cardiology, a mental health block which was really interesting, and now I’m on gastro block.

“I’m pretty much in hospital nearly every day going around wards, meeting patients, helping nurses as and when we can. It’s really busy at the moment so it’s a different environment than it should be.”

This makes for a packed schedule for Scott, meaning she is often doing training sessions on her own to ensure she keeps up her fitness levels. Sessions are provided by the Club to support her requirements.

“I have to fit training sessions in and around this, so Holly [Pickett, S&C coach at the Club] will help me out with a session. And then there are certain sessions throughout the week that I can make with the team. It changes week-by-week,” said Scott.

“Whenever you do medicine, you have to have something away from it, another focus. I have to switch off from it else I would become a bit stir crazy. When I’m at football, I’m fully invested in it. When we lose, I sulk over that for 24 hours.”

Given the intensity of the work that Scott does she requires a different weekly schedule to her teammates, but the 27-year-old had nothing but praise for the support the Club have shown to her circumstances.

She explained: “I really could not praise the Club anymore for being able to do what I am doing now. Blues have been instrumental, monumental to where I am now. I would not be able to do what I am doing now if it wasn’t for the staff at the Club.

“As a club, they’ve acknowledged what I wanted to do and how important it was to me. Holly is brilliant, giving me fitness sessions and Carla as well. I don’t think there is another club in the league that would give me this amount of support.”

But, for the next few days, Scott’s focus is on the impending Second City Derby against Aston Villa. Blues won the first meeting between the two sides earlier in the season thanks to Claudia Walker’s second-half goal.

“We went into it just thinking that we were quite confident that we had good players and good fitness and desire to win that game. It’s quite difficult going into a game knowing we have two subs, and they have a full bench,” said Scott. “We knew that we could win that game if we played our cards right. We managed to maintain our energy for most of the game and all Claudia [Walker] needs is one chance and she took it.”

The Villains signed Japanese international Mana Iwabuchi in the transfer window, and Scott recognised the quality that she has.

She said: “They’ve strengthened as a team and Iwabuchi is a fantastic player, we have seen the impact she has had on the league already. We are not underestimating her; we will show her respect but not too much because at the end of the day it is a derby and that’s a completely different game altogether.

"We are confident, but it definitely isn’t arrogance because we know how good they are and the results that they have picked up recently. I love a derby, it’s the type of game I live for.”

Ruby Mace, Emily Murphy, Ruesha Littlejohn, Sophie Whitehouse and Veatriki Sarri were all recruited by Carla Ward during the window to add some depth to the squad which has been hampered by injury for large parts of the season.

“We’ve changed drastically since the last time that we played them, we’ve strengthened in so many areas and Carla [Ward] said before the last game that she had a selection headache that we haven’t had this season. There is more bite to everybody, and we will see that going into the game, I’m sure.”

The 27-year-old’s passion during games has seen her pick up four bookings, one short of a suspension, and she has been working hard to avoid getting fifth.

She joked: “When I found I had four, I panicked and looked at the games we had, I knew I couldn’t get booked. Carla rang me telling me not to get booked. For me, getting to this game was the biggest thing.

“After the game [Everton], we were all talking and congratulating Ruby [Mace] for her debut and then Jamie [Lee-Napier] for scoring her first goal. Someone then mentioned me not getting booked and everyone cheered again. I’m really pleased I got to that point.”