Interview: Ewa Susmarska - Lady CB On A Men's Team Roster

Ewa Susmarska's love for football is so unconditional that her story may inspire both male and female athletes. She travels 4 hours one way to get to practice, and she is also a member of men's tackle squad. 

Football

I started my adventure with football about a year ago because of my school, where the Kozly Poznan team had practices during winter in a big sports hall. It made me really curious and I liked it.

Women's football in Poland is not really developed. There is only one team Warsaw Sirens in the capital city, and a few teams in a smaller cities that are trying to gather enough girls to make a real team. 

I wanted to play tackle football, but there was a men team only, however the coach, Jacek Wallusch, didn't care if I'm a boy or a girl. If I wanted to fight for a place in a team - no problem, he didn't care about the gender, but the agility and possibilities. 

Joining men's team

In the beginning guys were a little confused. Girl? With boys? They were frightened that I'm gonna get killed during practices. But it didn't take much time to show I can take hits, and that I am not so soft. 

Moreover, sometimes I'm baking them cookies. And men love cookies. 

There is still a bit of a problem with other teams players, especially the ones who play in the same league where I do. They complain about that they can't tackle a girl. I am a girl until I put my helmet on. During the game no one looks into your face mask when you're carrying the ball to consider if I am THIS girl to tackle weaker. 

On field

Photo: Thomasz Lerczak / Quarterback.pl
On the field you don't care about who is who. Just trying to stop the guy with the ball. Especially that it is not easy for me to get tackled – I play on defense, as a corner. Women can play in offense too, one girl in particular showed us that - Jennifer Welter the RB in men team Texas Revolution. 

Practice

Practice look like the one in any other team I think. Changing clothes (we've got the same dressing room, what at the beginning was hard for me but I got used to it), then warm up, some drills, one-on-one plays and at the end a whole, 11 on 11 play. 

For 2 weeks now, I'm travelling on Sundays to Warsaw, where I can practice with the women team. During the week I'm still practicing with Kozly (the men team I play in). 

It's tiring, to get to Warsaw every week, because of 8 hours spent in a bus, but on the 10th of May, Warsaw Sirens play a game with another women team from France. I got asked if I want to play as a Siren, and I agreed – new experiences are important to learn more and more. 

When you want to achieve something in your life, you focus only on how to reach the goal. It is only about how much you want it. 

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