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In Focus: Pam McRoberts

21 February 2019

The long-serving Eagle and Northern Ireland international gives her thoughts on the current campaign, the development of the women’s game and how she juggles parenting with Palace.

A few new additions this season have shaken things up.

The changing room atmosphere is great and the team are quite bubbly and, in a good way, it’s different now to how it has been over the past few seasons as there’s a mix of new characters and those of us that have known each other for years.

The music has changed dramatically though; I’ve retired from being DJ and now some of the songs have become a bit suspect!

I joined Palace to play at a competitive standard after giving birth to my son.

When I had Shay I went to a little Sunday League team but the level just wasn’t good enough, and that’s why I joined Palace. Now, as we’ve progressed up the divisions, we’ve had more success and that’s given me the opportunity to see greater professionalism and get closer to where the men are at. It’s been nice to be a part of that progression, but we always want to do better.

Shay loves all the players, but wants to be their mascot all the time now!

He is six and has been a mascot for both the men’s team and the ladies. It’s wonderful seeing him do it but now he just expects it; he’ll say before the games: “can I be a mascot, can I be a mascot?”.

He likes to walk out with Megen Lynch because he wants to be a goalkeeper and she’s his favourite ladies player. From the men’s team, his favourite players are Julian Speroni and Wilfried Zaha.

We need more confidence before we progress in the league.

In training, we do really, really well, but sometimes in games we lack a bit of confidence or belief. We know we’re capable but I think maybe being in a new league makes things difficult.

We’ve got a great fanbase and the support has been unreal; people around the club want to know how things are going and they’ll come down to find out. Mark Bright’s been to a few games and he’s even been to training. The support has been fantastic and it’s good to see that we’re being backed.

I work for the Palace for Life Foundation and love seeing the kids enjoy football.

I go to schools, try to encourage girls to play football and put on sessions with them after school or during lunchtime - I love it. We’ve been giving them discounted tickets to our games recently, so it’s nice to coach them on a Tuesday night and then on a Sunday they’ll be at our games. I’ll go back in the next week and they’ll say: “Miss, I was at one of your games and it was really good!”

We need to keep pushing for people to come and watch us. We need more of a fanbase, not just of Palace supporters but in general for women’s football. We can then progress to the highest level that we want, and the women’s game can keep getting bigger and better.

Loads of girls at the schools I work with have never been to a match but they like football. We need to encourage them through the gate so they can see they’ve got the opportunity to have this as a professional career and, of course, just enjoy watching football.

Quick-fire profile

Name: Pam McRoberts

Date of birth: 15th July 1986

Place of birth: South-east London

When did you start for Palace? Four seasons ago, in 2014

The team supported as a youngster: Manchester United

First footballing idol: Ryan Giggs

Career highlight to date: My Northern Ireland debut against Switzerland

Favourite food: Roast lamb

Favourite TV show: Match of the Day

What do you do in your spare time? Look after my son, Shay

If you weren’t a footballer, what would you be? Firstly, I'd eat more! But I'd probably be a boxer

If you could meet anyone famous, who would it be? Eminem

Hopes for this season: To establish ourselves in the league

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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