As part of a new series looking behind the scenes at the NFS, we’re excited to bring you a Player Spotlight interview with Women’s Super Series (WSS) North star Laura Hockaday. Check out Laura’s experience of the NFS so far; how she got involved in futsal; and why she encourages girls of all ages to get involved in the sport!

To start off, Laura – tell us your name, club, and shirt number!
I’m Laura Hockaday, number 9 at Sunderland University Women’s Futsal Club!

Tell us about yourself off the pitch, Laura.
I am a Sports Development Officer at the University of Sunderland focusing on BUCS, Performance & Competitions. Alongside my job I also play football for Chester le Street Town in the Women’s National League (WNL) as well as cricket for Durham County Women & my local club Leadgate.

How did you first get involved in futsal?
I began playing futsal in BUCS in 2011 for the University of Sunderland during my time studying at university & have never looked back – I’ve absolutely loved it!

Out of all the matches you’ve played – what’s been your favourite and why?
Playing in the Women’s National Final in 2016 for Tyneside Futsal for two reasons: the first one, obviously making the final! The second, it was at St. George’s Park on the main stage which was an amazing experience.

It’s been a solid season for you at Sunderland. What’s been your favourite part of the season?
Beating Loughborough 11-3 & scoring 5 goals in the match.

Tough question coming up – futsal or football?
This is a hard one as I would have to say both but I do like the fast intensity of futsal. I think you can love both – the majority of our team play both sports.

What would you say to anyone that’s interested in getting involved in futsal?
Do it! You won’t regret it! It’s an amazing game, you’ll never look back. I also feel it has a massive benefit to your game in football as well in terms of skill, first touch & pace.

Fantastic! What’s been the most challenging aspect of playing futsal?
Juggling both WSS futsal and WNL football, travelling up & down the country Saturday & Sunday each week as well as fitting in training sessions for both throughout the week.

And finally – what advice would you give your younger self?
Play as much futsal and football as you can. You’re only young once – take every opportunity and give it your all.

Great advice. Thanks very much, Laura, for giving your time and providing our readers with unique insight as to what it’s like to play in the NFS! All the best for 2022.