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In Focus: Meghan McKeag

21 February 2019

The Ladies were busy in the transfer window, with the former Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur defender becoming the Eagles’ third signing of the window last month.

Here, she discusses the move and her excitement at reconnecting with some familiar faces.

Palace was exactly the kind of club I wanted to be a part of.

Before I signed, Dean Davenport outlined his vision and focusses going forward, and I realised it was something I wanted to be part of. Now I’ve joined, everyone’s been very welcoming and supportive.

I think it’s really nice when you can step out and be proud of who you’re playing for in addition to wearing the badge and getting along with the girls. It’s also nice to be affiliated with a big men’s club, because you’ve got that sort of reputation as well.

I can bring plenty of experience to this team.

At 29, I’ve worked with a lot of top coaches throughout my career and that’s really benefitted me over the years. I’ve been at a few clubs, all within the M25! I started as a teenager at a Leyton Orient community project and got picked up from that and then went to Arsenal where I managed to break into the first-team.

I left them for Chelsea, then to Millwall and Watford, and I’ve also played for Charlton Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur and London Bees.

I've only just come back to football having recently taken a break.

I left Watford and joined Spurs part way through the season only not to play. I had a good time there but didn’t feature so I decided to take some time out and continue training on a personal level. I concentrated for a while on futsal, but then I realised that I missed football and now I’m really glad to be back into it.

I'm an attacking full-back but always looking to develop.

While I play in defence, I like joining in with any attacks and try to put deliveries in. That’s a part of the game that I really enjoy and I like a good tackle as well, so I’d say they’re my strengths.

But at the minute, I have to improve my general fitness to get back into football at this level. I think you’re never too old to learn so I’m always hoping to improve my game across the board, especially in terms of fitness.

It’s nice to see some of the players I've met over my career.

I’ve played with Ashlee Hincks, Jordan Butler and Gemma Bryan before, and Freya Holdaway and I go right back to our Arsenal academy days together so to meet up again further down our careers has been nice.

Other than that, the other girls that I’ve met, the staff and the coaches have been really lovely. I’ve trained a few times with the team now and I really enjoyed the sessions. What we do is very varied; we’ve got strength and conditioning aspects but then also the technical and tactical stuff too.

I'm excited to play and work hard for the Palace fans.

From what I’ve seen they are passionate and it’s nice to have people show up and care about what’s going on, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of that. I want to repay them by working hard, improving where I need to and get into the team for regular fixtures. I’m really excited for this season, my Palace career and taking the opportunity to get back into football at this level.

Quick-fire profile

Name: Meghan McKeag

Date of birth: 12th August 1989

Place of birth: Hackney

When did you start at Palace? January 2019

Team supported as a youngster? Arsenal

First footballing idol? Ashley Cole

Career highlight to date? Breaking into the Arsenal first-team

Favourite food? Italian

Favourite TV show? Game of Thrones

What do you like to do in your free time? Socialise

If you weren’t a footballer, what would you be? I’d want to work in fashion

If you could meet anyone famous, who would it be? David Attenborough; what a legend!

Hopes for the season? To get fit and get into the team

This feature has been taken from the official Palace programme, which is packed for every home game with great interviews, more features, stats, facts, notes and more. Make sure to pick up your copy from vendors around Selhurst Park for just £3.50!

Alternatively, you can purchase online copies below!

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