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'I just can't comprehend it in my mind'

Alex Scott was named on the New Year's honours list, capping a memorable year on and off the field for the Arsenal Ladies captain.

After lifting the FA Cup with us earlier this season and then securing EURO 2017 qualification with England, the defender has now been honoured with an MBE for her services to women's football.

The captain spoke exclusively to Arsenal.com ahead of the announcement - and here's what she had to say:

on how she is feeling…It hasn't really sunk in - not until the phone calls today when you realise it's going to be announced. And then, it just reminds you of what an amazing achievement it is and just how proud all my family and friends are going to be.

on who, if anyone, knows about it yet…It's going to be a surprise, literally just my mum knows and she's already cried! I’m sure when it’s announced she’s going to cry all over again! Everything, my whole career and the journey that I’ve been on… to now get this announcement, I don’t know, it kind of makes everything worth it. You sit back and you reflect and you just think wow! It's amazing.

on what the process is like and what happens when you get an MBE…I was on such a high anyway. I've had an amazing couple of weeks because I was over in Papua New Guinea with FIFA, being part of their campaign to talk to the people in Papua New Guinea, so I'd had an amazing time over there. I flew back and then went straight to England camp and then I was away playing Holland. I got a phone call from my mum and she said ‘Al, you’ve got a letter here and it looks really important…’ and I was like ‘One - why is the letter being sent to your house and not me? And I was like go on then, open it!’ And then she opened it, and that’s when she started screaming and crying because she realised what the letter said. So I had a little tear with her but then I tried to calm her down, but then I was in my hotel room at England and I was just sat on the hotel bed and was like ‘Wow - what an amazing end to the year this is going to be’ because I feel like I've had such an amazing year, with all the stuff that I’ve done with Iraq, with going to Papua New Guinea with FIFA, then winning Bear Grylls [Mission Survive] and then winning the FA Cup with Arsenal at Wembley. It's just been such an amazing year.

on how it feels to win this kind of recognition, not just for football…I'm that sort of player, I suppose that's why I'm captain, that I'm so team-orientated and you focus on team awards. So to get an individual award for something that you've done to the game is like ‘woah’ - I just can't comprehend it in my mind. It’s still not sinking in, it's just like wow. To think I’'e started from playing in a football cage in the east end of London to being recognised for everything that I've done, by the Queen, is just something else.

on the importance of female role models…I think it's so important and over the course of the year I've realised just how important it is and my role and the effect that I have on the younger generation coming through, now that they have these female role models that they look up to. I remember, I actually met Troy Deeney this year and he was talking about role models and he was so right. He was like the thing is with role models is people look at them thinking we're perfect, but actually, we're not - I think that’s what people see in me. They see the journey that I’ve been on and I’ve still managed to make it at the level that I have. I think that's what they look at and they’re inspired to be like that. Nothing in life is easy, but it doesn’t have to stop you and hold you back. You can still always achieve something.

on how 2017 can possibly top 2016 for her…For me, it's not over yet. The journey is still continuing. 2017 is going to be a massive year. Obviously with the restructure at Arsenal and the process there, we’re trying to get back to being the best ladies team in women’s football, so the journey is still there with that. And obviously, it’s also a massive year in terms of England and the Euros. This is going to be my last European Championship, no doubt about that, so I'm hoping I can end on a high there and do all I can to get a gold medal and then we've got to take it from there.

 

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