Kim Little

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Kim Little
Kim little.jpg
Little playing for Scotland in May 2009
Personal information
Full name Kim Alison Little[1]
Date of birth (1990-06-29) 29 June 1990 (age 24)
Place of birth Aberdeen, Scotland
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Seattle Reign FC
Number 8
Youth career
Buchan Girls FC
Hibs Girls FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–08 Hibernian Ladies
2008–13 Arsenal Ladies 93 (81)
2014- Seattle Reign FC 12 (11)
National team
2007– Scotland 95 (32)
2012– Great Britain 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 April 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:55, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Kim Alison Little (born 29 June 1990) is a Scottish footballer and a leading scorer on the Scotland women's national football team. She is currently signed to Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League and previously played for FA WSL club Arsenal Ladies. During her time with Arsenal, the team won five league titles, two WSL Continental Cups, three FA Cups and one Premier League Cup. Prior to her six years with Arsenal, Little played for Hibernian L.F.C. in the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL). During her 18 months with the club, they won the SWPL championship title, Scottish Cup, and the Premier League Cup.

Little has represented Scotland at the senior international level since 2007. She was one of two Scots selected for the Great Britain squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Olympics. In 2010, she was named the FA's Women's Player of the Year. In 2013, she became the first recipient of the PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year award.

Early life[edit]

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland and raised in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, Little began playing football at a young age with her father and brother.[2] Little played football for her primary school and local boys teams as a youth.[3] From age 10 to 14, she played at the youth level for Buchan Girls before joining the Hibernian Girls in 2005.[4][5] At age 13, she attended and played for Mintlaw Academy.[3] During her time with Hibernian Girls, Little would travel about two and half hours each way from Aberdeen to Edinburgh for training.[5] Of her youth, Little said, "Football gave me opportunities from a young age. Having the chance to travel, to play in different environments and to come up against really good players from all over Europe was fantastic and made me more determined to keep playing."[3] Little attended the University of Hertfordshire when she obtained a degree in Sports Studies while playing for Arsenal L.F.C..[6][7]

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

Hibernian L.F.C., 2006–08[edit]

At the age of 16, Little made her debut for Hibernian L.F.C. of the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) during a UEFA Women's Champions League match against RCD Espanyol at Almondvale Stadium on 8 August 2006. Hibs had signed Little and other players from their youth team to replace veterans Pauline Hamill, Nicky Grant and Debbie McWhinnie who all left the club that summer.[8] In her SWPL league debut, she scored a hat trick against Hutchison Vale L.F.C. During her time with Hibernian, Little helped the club win the SWPL championship title, Scottish Cup, and the Premier League Cup. She competed with the team in the UEFA Women's Champions League twice.[9] During the 2006–07 season, Hibernian won every match with Little scoring 55 goals in her 30 appearances for the club.[10] The following season, she scored 33 goals in 18 appearances with the club.[5]

Arsenal Ladies, 2008–13[edit]

Little (top second from right) with Arsenal Ladies, 2009
FA Women's Premier League, 2008-10[edit]

In March 2008 at the age of 17, Little joined Arsenal Ladies in the FA Women's Premier League National Division. She scored her first goal for the club in April, during a 4–1 win over Chelsea before 5,000 fans at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal manager Vic Akers told reporters: "Make a note of this kid, she's going to be a big player."[11] She was not eligible to play in Arsenal's 4–1 FA Women's Cup Final victory over Leeds United on 5 May 2008.[12]

Little played in every league match during the 2008–09 season bar one, scoring 24 goals.[13] Arsenal finished at the top of the regular season table with a 20–1–1 record. She also played in the 5–0 Premier League Cup Final victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles[14] and scored in the FA Women's Cup Final as Arsenal beat Sunderland 2–1 before almost 25,000 fans at Pride Park in Derby.[15] Little later described 2008–09 as her most memorable season, as Arsenal won a treble despite the departure of several leading players to Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) in America.[16]

The following season Little's prolific goal scoring from the midfield helped Arsenal overcome the departure of Kelly Smith.[17] After 47 goals in all competitions,[18] the team finished the regular season in first place with a 20–1–1 record. Little was the league's leading scorer with 17 goals. She was named FA Players' Player of the Year in June 2010.[19] Arsenal entered the 2010 FA Women's Cup Final hoping to lift the trophy for a fifth consecutive year. Despite Little's first half penalty, they were eventually upset 3–2 by Everton, after extra time.[20]

FA WSL, 2011-13[edit]

In 2011, the FA WSL was formed replacing the FA Women's Premier League as the top division of women's football in England. During the 2011 season, Little was the second-leading scorer in the league with nine goals. She scored a brace during a match against Doncaster Belles on 7 May 2011.[21] Arsenal finished at the top of the league table with a 10-2-2 record.[22]

At the 2011 FA Women's Cup Final, Little was named Player of the Match and scored the opening goal in Arsenal's 2–0 win over Bristol Academy. After the game Arsenal manager Laura Harvey described Little as "world class."[23]

During the 2012 season, Little was the league's top scorer with 11 goals. Arsenal clinched the regular season title with an undefeated 10-4-0 record and claimed their ninth consecutive English title.[24] During a match against Chelsea L.F.C. on 26 April, she scored a brace with goals in the 47th and 90th minutes helping Arsenal win 3–1.[25] She scored another brace during a 2-0 win against Liverpool L.F.C. on 6 May.[26]

Little (right) versus Bristol Academy, May 2013

Little was voted Women's Players' Player of the Year for 2012–13 by the Professional Footballers' Association, in the first year that the award was given to women.[27] Upon receiving the award, Little said, "For years, I have watched this event on television, so to come here and win the first award is fantastic."[28]

Prior to the 2013 season, Arsenal's head coach Laura Harvey left for Seattle Reign FC in the United States. Under new head coach Shelley Kerr, the Arsenal finished third in the regular season standings with a 10-3-1 record.[29] In her 14 appearances for the club, Little scored three goals.[30]

Seattle Reign FC, 2014[edit]

In November 2013, Little left deposed champions Arsenal after six years, for American National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) club Seattle Reign FC. Laura Harvey had departed Arsenal to coach Seattle Reign the previous year and had made Little her top transfer target.[31] Of the signing, Harvey said, "Kim is world-class. Her talent and proven experience will be a huge asset for our team in the coming seasons. Having coached Kim for nearly four years, I have no doubt that her creativity and goal-scoring ability will prove an exciting proposition for the NWSL."[32]

International[edit]

Scotland[edit]

Little made her debut for the Scotland women's national football team in February 2007 at the age of 16 in a match against Japan coming in as a second-half substitute for Megan Sneddon.[33] National coach Anna Signeul had no hesitation in promoting Little into the senior team at 16: "Kim is an exceptional talent. There's no limit to how far she can progress. She has technique, speed and power, and she reads the game extremely well."[34] She scored her first international goal as Scotland lost to Russia in March 2008.[35]

Little playing for Scotland, 2009

During her 50th cap, Little scored the game-opening goal in Scotland's 2–0 victory against rival England at the Cyprus Cup in March 2011. It was only the second time Scotland had ever defeated their rivals, and was the first time since 1977 – 13 years before Little was born.[36]

On 16 June 2012, Little scored Scotland's first hat trick during the team's 8-0 win against Israel.[37] In October 2012, she scored in both legs of Scotland's UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying play-off against Spain. In the second leg Verónica Boquete scored in injury time of extra time to make the score 3–2 to Spain and eliminate the Scots, who were left "utterly disconsolate" at missing out on qualification for their first ever final tournament.[38]

In February 2013, Little scored Scotland's only goal during a friendly match against the United States in which the U.S. won 4–1.[37] During the 2013 Cyprus Cup, Little scored a goal and served an assist in Scotland's 4–4 draw against England during the group stage of the tournament.[39] She scored another goal in the 11th minute of the team's fifth place match against the Netherlands resulting in a 1–0 win for Scotland.[40]

Great Britain Olympic[edit]

Despite opposition from Scottish Football Association with regard to Scottish players playing on a British team, Little was strongly in favour of participating in the Great Britain team at the 2012 London Olympics: "I don't see why anyone would want to stop a player from playing at a massive tournament like the Olympics, it's the biggest sporting event ever. If I get the opportunity I'll grab it with both hands – I would definitely play."[41][42][43]

Little was called up to the 18–player squad, one of only two non-English players chosen by team manager Hope Powell, the other being fellow Scot Ifeoma Dieke. Little chose not to sing the national anthem of the United Kingdom before the team's first competitive game, a 1–0 win against New Zealand.[44] The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the British Olympic Association were angered by this.[44] Hope Powell said she was not concerned by this issue, however, as some players prefer not to interrupt their pre-match preparation by singing the anthem.[45] Two male Welsh footballers also made personal decisions to not sing the anthem.[46]

Little provided two assists in the team's second group stage match, a 3–0 win against Cameroon.[47] After winning all three matches and finishing at the top of the table for Group E in the group stage of the tournament, Great Britain advanced to the quarter finals where they faced Canada in front of 28,828 spectators at City of Coventry Stadium. Little started the match and played for 82 minutes, but Great Britain lost 2–0 and were knocked out of the tournament.[48]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.[35]

Playing style[edit]

Little typically played as the advanced midfielder in Arsenal's 4–3–3 formation, but occupies a deeper role when playing for Scotland.[49] In an interview with FIFA.com in July 2012, Little said: "Nearly all my goals come from midfield. That’s my natural position. But I’m a player who always tries to make forward runs, be positive and to create and score goals."[50]

Personal Life[edit]

Little confirmed in an interview that she has been in a relationship with semi-pro footballer/university student Tom Pett for the past three and a half years. [51]

Honours[edit]

Individual[edit]

Team[edit]

with Hibernian L.F.C.:

with Arsenal L.F.C.:

  • Premier League championship: 2008/09, 2009/10[53]
  • WSL championship: 2011, 2012[53]
  • FA Cup: 2008/09,[15] 2010/11,[23] 2012/13[54]
  • Premier League Cup: 2008/09[14]
  • WSL Cup: 2011,[55] 2012,[56] 2013[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012 – List of Players Great Britain". FIFA. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Lady Imps out to upset trailblazing Kim Little’s Arsenal ambition". The Independent. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Spotlight on Kim Little". Scottish Football Association. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kim Little". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Little on Big Progress". Hibernian FC. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Leighton, Tony (11 October 2009). "Free-scoring Kim Little keeps Arsenal chasing treble". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Corsie, Rachel (The Away End). "Rachel Corsie: Kim Little a role model for all of Scottish football". Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  8. ^ White, Neil (6 August 2006). "Hibs women turn to youth for Europe test - Football". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Hislop, John (22 November 2013). "Former Hibs star Kim Little signs for Seattle Reign". Edinburgh Reporter. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Kim Little: My debt to Hibs". Scottish Football Association. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Kessel, Anna (4 May 2008). "The invincibles". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Lansley, Peter (5 May 2008). "Arsenal's real Invincibles go for their FA Cup hat-trick - Women's FA Cup final". The Times. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "16. Kim Little". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  14. ^ a b Taylor, Declan (26 February 2009). "Doncaster 0 - 5 Arsenal". arsenal.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Arsenal win FA Women's Cup". BBC. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Catching up with Scotland’s rising star and Arsenal midfielder Kim Little". Our Game Magazine. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Leighton, Tony (11 October 2009). "Free-scoring Kim Little keeps Arsenal chasing treble". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  18. ^ "Statistics 2009–2010". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  19. ^ a b "Key figures honoured at Women's awards". TheFA.com. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  20. ^ Leighton, Tony (3 May 2010). "Everton upset Arsenal to win FA Women's Cup". BBC. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "DONCASTER BELLES VS. ARSENAL 0 - 3". Soccer Way. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "2011 WSL". Soccer Way. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c Giuseppe Muro (23 May 2011). "Harvey pays tribute to ‘world-class’ Little". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "2012 WSL". Soccer Way. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  25. ^ "ARSENAL VS. CHELSEA 3 - 1". Soccer Way. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "LIVERPOOL VS. ARSENAL 0 - 2". Soccer Way. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "PFA Awards: Arsenal's Kim Little named Women's Player of Year". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  28. ^ Drysdale, Neil (29 April 2013). "Aberdeen-born footballer Kim Little wins PFA Player of the Year". STV News. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "2013 WSL". Soccer Way. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Kim Little". Soccer Way. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  31. ^ "Scotland & Arsenal midfielder Kim Little agrees Seattle switch". British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  32. ^ "Reign Add Arsenal Star Midfielder Kim Little". Sounder at Heart. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  33. ^ "Japan v Scotland". The Scottish FA. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  34. ^ "Kim, 16, is Miss match". Daily Record. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  35. ^ a b "Kim Little – Women's A Squad". The Scottish FA. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  36. ^ Leighton, Tony (4 March 2011). "England 0–2 Scotland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  37. ^ a b "U.S. Women's National Team Plays "2nd Leg" Against Scotland". United States Soccer Federation. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  38. ^ Lamont, Alasdair (24 October 2013). "Scotland suffer late loss to Spain in Euro 2013 play-off". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  39. ^ Leighton, Tony (8 March 2013). "Kim Little rallies Scotland for spectacular draw with England". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  40. ^ Leighton, Tony (13 March 2013). "Cyprus Cup: Scotland beat Netherlands to finish fifth". BBC. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  41. ^ Leighton, Tony (4 September 2011). "Scotland's Kim Little wants to play for Great Britain at 2012 Olympics". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  42. ^ Drysdale, Neil (26 June 2012). "Kim Little realises her big ambition to compete at the Olympics". STV News. STV. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  43. ^ "Scotland's Kim Little 'would play for Team GB'". BBC News. BBC. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  44. ^ a b Silverman, Rosa (27 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Team GB athletes in National Anthem singing row". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  45. ^ Clutton, Graham (27 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Team GB women's football team's Scottish players can opt out of singing national anthem". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  46. ^ York, Chris (2012-07-27). "Ryan Giggs And Craig Bellamy Snub National Anthem At Olympic Opening Match". Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  47. ^ Fletcher, Paul (28 July 2012). "Great Britain beat Cameroon 3-0 to progress". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  48. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament: Great Britain 0:2 (0:2) Canada". FIFA. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  49. ^ Campbell, Alan (5 April 2012). "Little takes on big responsibility with forward role". The Herald. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  50. ^ "Big dreams for GB’s Little". FIFA. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  51. ^ "Inside Reign, Episode 2 "Little" (The second episode in a series on Seattle Reign FC, featuring personal interviews with the extraordinary players and behind-the-scenes footage of training)". Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  52. ^ Mayers, Joshua (June 4, 2014). "Reign FC’s Kim Little wins NWSL Player of the Month — again". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  53. ^ a b "Little leaves Ladies for Seattle Reign". Arsenal.com. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  54. ^ "FA Women's Cup final: Arsenal Ladies beat Bristol Academy". BBC Sport. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  55. ^ Yew, Oliver (25 September 2011). "Birmingham City 1 - Arsenal 4". arsenal.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  56. ^ Dean, Sarah (11 October 2012). "Arsenal Ladies win Continental Cup in another boost for women's football". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  57. ^ "Arsenal vs Lincoln 2-0, Continental Cup Final". Fawsl.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 

External links[edit]