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Get to know – Daniela Kosińska


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Ahead of their big game against Keynsham Town at Vitality Stadium on Sunday, AFC Bournemouth puts the spotlight on some of the women's team's players, starting with goalkeeper Daniela Kosińska.

Daniela Kosińska’s journey to Vitality Stadium has not been without its ups and downs.

The goalkeeper has made a huge impact since relocating from Edinburgh to join the AFC Bournemouth women’s team ahead of the start of this season.

Kosińska, who signed from Scottish Women’s Premier League outfit Hibernian, was born in Polkowice, a town in south-western Poland, which is part of the largest industrial copper-extraction area in the country.

When she was growing up, Kosińska also spent a great deal of time in England, with members of her extended family living in Manchester. By her own admission, she “grew up in both countries”.

Kosińska left home in Poland when she was just 14 in a bid to pursue her career goal of becoming a professional footballer and it has been a tale of triumph over adversity.

Her first hurdle was her first group of teammates, a squad of boys who virtually forced her to play in goal as they wanted all the outfield positions for themselves.

Kosińska takes up the story: “I was about six at the time. Football wasn’t a popular sport for women and girls so I had to join my local boys’ team.

“They were all very competitive and weren’t very happy with me being there. They always wanted the best positions and, unless I went in goal, I didn’t play at all.

“I started as an outfield player but they kept pushing me towards the goal. If there was a shot or a one-v-one, I would just turn my back and hope for the best.

“But as I got older, I realised being in goal was where I was going to play. If I wanted to play football, I had to become good at being a goalkeeper. I progressed, joined a women’s team and also played for my county.”

Kosińska, capped by Poland at youth level, started out with local women’s club Bielawianka Bielawa before leaving home to join top-flight outfit Śląsk Wrocław.

She said: “At the age of 14, I decided to move for footballing reasons. I went to Wrocław to progress my dreams.

“I have always liked challenges and, from a young age, I have always wanted to be a professional footballer.

“It was two hours from home and it was like a boarding school which was connected to the football club.

“Instead of PE lessons, you would have a football training session. You would train again after classes and it all helped me become a better player.

“My parents have always been very supportive. Although they didn’t want me to leave home at such a young age, they gave me their blessing and didn’t stand in my way.

“They gave me a chance to prove myself and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made because it made me a better person.

“You get more independent and you want to make sure you do well in life. Whichever path you choose, you need to make sure it works.

“I regret not doing it sooner but probably couldn’t have. It wasn’t so great for my parents because they definitely didn’t expect me to leave home so young.

“Most parents normally have time to prepare themselves for their children leaving home but my mum didn’t and she has always been a little upset about that.”

Kosińska’s next obstacle was a wrist injury which threatened to ruin her career before it had even got off the ground.

“They told me that I might not play again,” she said. “I tore the ligaments in my left wrist and needed to have surgery.

“It was around the time when I was switching from a second division team in Poland to a first division team.

“I tried to train and tried to push it to make sure I didn’t get dropped. Looking back though, it wasn’t a smart decision.

"It would have been better to take a bit of time out to get well rather than push myself in training.

“Rehab was tough and I couldn’t move my hand very well. I had lots of pain and it wasn’t normal.

“It was tough when they told me that I might not play again and I just wanted to prove them wrong. I did lots of rehab, worked really hard and came through it.”

Kosińska’s luck finally turned when she was invited to join Aston Villa following a successful trial spell.

She also played for Birmingham City, Stoke City and Huddersfield Town as well as having a brief stay with Loughborough Lightning before signing for Hibs at the start of last season.

She said: “I knew I wasn’t going to stay in Scotland for long and I wanted to come back to England because I think it’s the best country to play in when it comes to women’s football. I knew my future was here and wanted to get my name out there.

“When I got to talk with AFC Bournemouth, Steve (Cuss) and Matt (Divine) told me about the club’s ambitions, prospects and aspirations and said I would be a really big part of it.

“That helped me make my decision. I want to be on the journey and try to make history here. Hopefully, I can be a small part of something bigger.

“Hopefully – make that definitely – that’s why I’m here. I haven’t come here just to check out how it is, I’ve come here to help this club reach the biggest stage it possibly can.”

This article appeared in MATCHDAY for the visit of Newcastle United earlier this season.

To book tickets and select seats for the Keynsham game, click here.

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