Queen’s Park Rangers’ attacker Alice Curr was part of the Surrey team that played in the landmark game against Afghanistan Development last weekend. After the match, she spoke to Impetus’ Ben Gilby about her footballing journey, life at QPR, and why she loves representing Surrey (6/6/22).
Above: Alice Curr in action for Queen’s Park Rangers this season. Photo: Ian Randall via Alice Curr.
Alice Curr has been playing football for almost as long as she can remember. “So I started playing whilst at school with a group of boys when I was around four or five years old,” she reveals. “I come from quite a sporty family and I have always loved PE and any sport.
“I continued to play football at school for the school team and then I joined a local team (Woking Cougars) when I was 10. I played there until I was 15 and then the team folded. So I moved across to Abbey Rangers. Within that first year, I was scouted for Fulham’s first team. I made my debut at 16 in the fifth tier of women’s football.
“I spent four years at Fulham and then spent a year at AFC Wimbledon in the FA Women’s National League before moving to Queen’s Park Rangers last August. Alongside this, I have played for St Mary’s University and The English Universities Squad.”
Whilst Alice has had some memorable times in her career with representative honours, her footballing journey has also come with its challenges.
“I did have one tough season at Fulham where I was injured for a long time. But I’m really lucky to have a good network of people that push me every day to get me back on the pitch and keep spirits high.”
Alice’s first season at Queen’s Park Rangers in the tier four FA Women’s National League Division One South-East was a success, as she highlights: “We’ve had a great season as a squad, and finishing fourth was a testament to a lot of hard work from everyone at the club.
“Personally I’ve had a good first season at the club and I have really been enjoying it. The hat trick against Bromley was a personal highlight. The final game of the season being played at Loftus Road (the QPR men’s team’s home stadium) was a great way to end the season and we put in a great performance for the fans that have supported us this year.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the FAWNL and I love that I have had the opportunity to fulfill that dream. Alongside that, I always just try to enjoy my football, that way I tend to play better.”
Shortly after the season ended, Surrey announced their squad for their two post-campaign matches, with Alice being the sole FAWNL player called up. She explains the selection process.
“I heard about Surrey through social media. As a kid, representing Surrey was a big deal to me but I never had the opportunity. So to see this opportunity arise, I knew I had to get involved. Danny Clarke works really hard behind the scenes to advise on social media and then last summer they hosted trials.
As with any representative team selected within a lead-up time to the match in question, it can be a difficult process to get the squad to gel, but Alice saw the experience as overwhelmingly positive.
“The women’s football circuit is quite a small one so I have met and played with many of the girls before. However, there are occasions on the pitch where things don’t always sync up. I think as a squad we understood from the get go that would happen. We just worked hard and trusted that the opportunities would come.”
Whilst Surrey originally had two matches scheduled for June, in the end only one took place, but it was a momentous encounter with Afghanistan’s Development team. The Afghan squad had to go into hiding and were advised to burn all their football equipment when the Taliban took control of the country last year. In preparation for their emergency flee to the United Kingdom, they had to go into hiding and then had to run the gauntlet of a suicide bomb attack en route to Kabul Airport.
Alice was proud to play in the match and clear about its wider significance. “Obviously we knew that the match was more important than football. The fact that the Afghanistan team were here and able to play is amazing. They did themselves proud. I think before the game we prepared well and focused on our game plan going forward as a squad. I think that we played well and executed the game plan well. I was happy with my performance. I also thought their goalkeeper was outstanding.”
Whilst Surrey doesn’t have another game scheduled for a number of months, the QPR attacker is keen to pull on the yellow and blue of her county again soon.
“Surrey has provided me another opportunity to play and enjoy football over the summer months. It also allows me to represent my county whilst playing with old friends. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity.”
Alice then looked ahead to next season. The FAWNL Division One South-East looks to be as tough a league as ever with some very strong teams coming into the league in the form of Ashford Town (Middx) and Wymondham Town.
“I think the division has always been a tough league and it’s always been hard to predict who will finish near the top,” Alice admitted.
“But at QPR we will continue to work hard as a squad and play our football. I know that this will put us in a good place going into next year. I personally want to build on the good foundations built last year and continue learning and growing.”