New Zealand international Betsy Hassett discusses her first impressions of Manchester, what it's like to move abroad and her interests outside of football...
I’ve been in Manchester for just under two weeks now and I absolutely love it. The city is incredible. I love the buildings and I love just being right in the centre of everything.
I’m so excited for the season to start. I’m training full-time and it’s going very well. We’re working hard every single day and I’m getting a lot of touches on the ball. We’re covering a lot of technical skills which is what I need at the moment.
The team are all getting along too. Obviously, for the first few weeks, we’re all just getting to know each other but everyone’s great. I’m living with Jill Scott and she’s really easy to get along with. She cooks a lot and we’re having a lot of fun together.
I think the relaunch event last week went really well. There was a lot of media there which was really good for the team. To have so much support behind us across the country is fantastic.
It just feels so amazing to finally be here. I was a little nervous about moving abroad at first but everyone has made me feel so welcome. Moving is pretty difficult because I really miss my family and friends – and the food back home, especially Vogel’s bread! I’ll have to see if I can get it over here.
I’ve been travelling for a while now though so I’m getting used to being away from home. When I moved to America, it was pretty tough at the beginning – especially because I had to juggle football with my studies. As time went on though, it became easier and easier. There’s a lot of help available for athletes over there so that was good to have.
Since my last competitive game in the States a couple of months ago, I had a little break from football and I’ve been travelling in India and Nepal. We went hiking and exploring and it was incredible.
The whole way of living over there is wonderful. The people have such big hearts – they’re so friendly and welcoming. Seeing how different their lifestyle is – it’s so hectic and crazy – was a real eye-opener.
Now though, I’m starting a new adventure and I can’t wait to get back playing. Football has been my life ever since I was four years old. I’m not sure what I would have done without it. I think it will always be a big part of my life so we’ll have to see what happens when I finish playing.
Outside of football, I like to read and I love music so I think Manchester is the right place to be!
I’m very active too. I really like board sports – wake-boarding, snow-boarding, surf-boarding… Although I don’t think there’s much water around here! I do lots of yoga as well so that keeps me strong. I’d like to get into some martial arts but I don’t think I’ll be allowed to do it during the season!
It’s been an amazing few weeks and I’m really enjoying my time here. Everything’s going really well and like I say, I just can’t wait for the season to start!