Women's Team

Jill Scott: What I've learnt in 2020

Jill Scott: What I've learnt in 2020
After a year like no other Manchester City midfielder Jill Scott takes a look back through her 2020, both on and off the pitch.

With lockdowns, social distancing and empty stadiums, COVID-19 has reshaped the world of football and day-to-day life as we know it, creating a new way of living for us all.

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It has been a whirlwind year for Scott and her team-mates, who sat just one point behind FA WSL leaders Chelsea when the first national lockdown began in mid-March.

With no clue if, or when football would resume, the team were challenged with having to train from home and whilst it proved a test, the midfielder felt it reinforced the sheer dedication of the squad.

"Even though you had time, you still had to train,” she said.

"We didn’t know when we were going to be back in. You could have taken a week off training and then been called back in the next day!

"I think we all realised just how dedicated we are. The girls worked so hard over lockdown and you can see we’re reaping the benefits now."

At the end of June new manager Gareth Taylor and his side finally returned to the City Football Academy for COVID-19 testing, and, after three months away, Scott was over the moon.

Getting back into the routine of training was a welcome boost for the England international, as was being able to start the 2020/21 season in August.

However, some things remained different and Scott admits the players have really felt the absence of fans at the Academy Stadium.

"Driving back through the gates of the City Football Academy into these amazing facilities felt so good,” she explained.

"Of course, the team is still in a little bubble, so we’re really missing talking to the other staff around the Academy.

"It’s fantastic that they [the fans] are watching and supporting us from home but it’s not the same and we can’t wait until they’re able to come back into the Academy Stadium.

"Look at the game against Arsenal. To have celebrated Caroline Weir’s last-minute goal with the fans would have been incredible!

"I’m expecting the Academy Stadium to be booming when things go back to normal! Hopefully, we can all be together again soon.”

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Like many of us, lockdown provided the North East native with a chance to reflect and for Scott it was an opportunity to appreciate the little things in life.

For her, that’s a coffee and a good catch up!

"When the time comes that I can just sit with a friend and have a coffee and chat, I’ll be in the coffee shop 9-5," said City’s No.8.

"You do take those things for granted – catching up, having a change of scenery. I was quite lucky because a take-away coffee shop opened near my house during lockdown.

"It was so nice to get a coffee and go for a walk. It’s about appreciating the little things in life."

Whilst 2020 has posed its challenges, Scott has still managed to enjoy success.

In June, the City and England stalwart signed a new two-year deal at the Club, as well as taking up a new coaching role alongside manager, Taylor.

The 33-year-old also helped secure back-to-back FA Cup triumphs, as we defeated Everton 3-1 in the final at Wembley in October.

In a year of both highs and lows, Scott explained the key lessons she has learnt and what she will be taking into 2021.

"‘Control what you can control’ has been a massive one. It was really difficult having to train on your own, not having your team-mates around.

"I’ve learned to look at each day rather than look too far ahead – and to control the controllable."

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