Becoming a full-time footballer at only 18 is one thing, but doing it for the club you’ve supported since being young is another, that is exactly what Megan Bell has done when she joined Rangers.
Bell signed for the Glaswegian club from Durham in January. The club played their first game of the season as a professional club against Hearts on the opening weekend of the Scottish Women’s Premier League 2020 season. She more than played her part in the match, scoring twice on her debut.
Since moving to Scotland, the Northern Irish midfielder has since met her idol, men’s manager - Steven Gerrard. The 18-year-old has been seen as a prospect in the women’s game since the age of 14 when she made her debut for Linfield in the Northern Ireland Women's League - scoring two goals also.
She has been an ever-present member of her national team‘s squad, having made her debut at the age of 16 in a 2019 World Cup Qualifier against Slovakia in which they won 3-1.
"It's been brilliant - I was a massive Rangers fan growing up so it's really just a dream," said Bell.
"Rangers got in touch when I was at Durham. I really enjoyed my time there but there are just some things in life that you can't turn down and the offer of a professional contract with the team you support is difficult to say no to - it was actually a pleasure to accept it.
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"All I ever wanted to do as a kid was to be a professional footballer - I need to pinch myself that it's actually happened.
"Sometimes I forget I'm only 18 and my development isn't even over halfway. As a player I want to be learning and developing all the time and I think in the correct environment for me.
"I love winning and I've always been around a culture of winning so hopefully, that will carry on here."
Since the clubs move to professional status, the women’s team now shares training and eating facilities with the men’s team - this has led to her being able to meet her footballing hero growing up - Steven Gerrard.
"Rangers are one of, if not the biggest club in the world - the set-up now is so professional especially this year with the programme coming in for the women," added Bell.
"The integration has been brilliant. It hasn't been two separate teams, two separate clubs. It's been integrated and it feels like one big family. I feel so much part of the club.
"Growing up I used to watch players on TV and now I see them in the corridor - it's a bit crazy. Everyone says hello and shakes your hand, making you feel so welcome.
"I have seen Steven Gerrard a few times. He a really nice fella and as much as he is my idol he is human as well.
"As a kid growing up he was my favourite footballer and it really hits home where I am when I see him in the corridor - it's mad!"News Now - Sport News