Brighton’s Victoria Williams: ‘I remember we’d kick off and I just couldn’t breathe’

The defender on her old struggles with pressure and how she has overcome racism and lack of self-confidence to thrive in the WSLFor the Brighton captain, Victoria Williams, overcoming her struggle with, in her own words, “a lack of self-confidence”, has been one of the biggest hurdles in her playing career. In fact, it is one of the reasons she wants to talk today, when we meet in a function room at her club’s training complex. “I think there’s probably quite a lot of people in the same position, where you feel like you don’t fit in,” she says. “And I just want to say: you do. You just have to find the right environment for yourself.”Growing up in Doncaster, a predominantly white town in Yorkshire, Williams recalls how her experiences, including of racism, affected her. “I had to move schools when I was in infant school, actually because of racism,” she says. “I don’t really know how to frame that properly about how that made me feel at the time.” She adds: “I think growing up, kind of being the odd one out, and you just want to blend in, I think you can underestimate how much that can affect you as a person.”

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