Life As A Female Footballer- Interview With Tanya Näsman

Life As A Female Footballer- Interview With Tanya Näsman

Name: Tanya Näsman

Age: 22

Current Team: IFK Norrköping, Sweden



Where do you come from and what is your playing history?

I come from Finland and I started playing soccer when I was 9 years old. Swimming was my number one sport for a long time but when I was 13-14 I decided to only focus on football. I have been moving around a lot for football. When I was 16 it took me to Sweden where I went to a football gymnasium in Norrköping for 1,5 years and then moved back to Finland. There I played in division 1 and in the Naisten Liiga between the years 2012-2014. In 2015, I moved to Norrköping again to play for IFK Norrköping in the Swedish division 1.


What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport so far?

I haven’t really won any trophies in my career. The biggest accomplishments are from my youth career where I have a Finnish Championship medal and when I was playing in the B-juniors back in the day (where I was two years younger than everyone else) and we got promoted to the B-juniors Finnish league.
From my senior days I will always remember the few times when I was picked as a reserve player for the Finnish National Team and when I was in the squad of 40 players for the U20 World Cup and got to do some medical tests. I have never represented Finland though.


What do you enjoy most from your sport?

Definitely the team spirit, teammates and friends I’ve made through my sport. I have always been a team athlete so I really value my teammates. And nothing is better than the feeling after a great and hard practice or a tough game you won.


What needs to be improved in women’s football?

I feel like there’s a lot that needs to be improved in women’s football. The quality of the game is good and keeps evolving all the time but it’s everything behind the curtains that needs to be improved.
As much as I want to see more equality between female and male football, I have started to understand why male players get greater salaries, it’s because they generate more money and have more revenue because of its popularity. At the same time I feel like people need to switch their attitudes and be more open to women’s football- even though the attitudes are changing with the new generation that’s growing up. We need to have more spectators and find more revenue streams, but maybe we can’t conquer on the male football market.
I also feel like people have to stop pitying female players and stop complaining about the inequality… Start going to the female football games and start supporting female sports. That’s how we’ll make a change for females.

What do you do outside of sports?

I study Sports Management online at University College of Nordjylland, work as a coach for a school in Norrköping where they have extra football training in school, as a “teacher” in primary schools and in customer service for a big sport store in Sweden called Stadium. When I have time and energy I go to the gym, do yoga and some more training.


How do you view your future in the short-term and long-term?

That’s actually something I’m trying to figure out. As much as I love football the amateur footballer life is pretty challenging. I have to put the same amount of work in, rest and eat as a professional but at the same time my life is like a puzzle where I have to plan and build my days up with both part-time work and studies along with my training. It’s demanding, especially when I play for free.
The dream would be to get paid for playing football but then I have to make sacrifices when it comes to work and so on. My focus would have to be 100% on football so I don’t think I would have time to work as much then. Right now I’m just trying to figure everything out and make everything work. I will play as long as I love to play and if I get the chance to focus more on football I will definitely do it at some point. At the same time I’m trying to learn to let go of my football-player identity to decrease the risk of feeling completely useless if I would decide to end my career because life is so much more than just football.


The Voxplay team would like to thank Tanya for her professionalism and time in giving this interview.