Kit Graham has been making waves in the Women’s Super League since her move to Spurs from Charlton, and now she faces up to the prospect of playing in the North London Derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Having been top scorer in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division in 2017/18, scoring 47 goals in 35 games for the Addicks in all competitions, Kit Graham seems to have picked up where she left off, and she comes into the game against Arsenal as Spurs’ top scorer. But, in front of thousands of fans, the Gunners will prove to be a far sterner test than anything she’s previously experienced. Graham, however, relishes the opportunity, as we found out when we sat down with her at the scene of what could be her greatest triumph to date…

Kit, to start with, how does it feel to have gone from where you started in the game to now have the opportunity to play here? 

I think it’s any little kid’s dream come true to be honest. You would only dream of doing something like this, especially as a young girl. So to have this opportunity now is just unbelievable, I’m really excited. I was at Charlton for 14 years, and so to now have the opportunity to play in the WSL, in this stadium, in a North London Derby, it really is a dream come true.

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Do you have memories of watching games as a kid and thinking how you’d love to play at a stadium like this?

Yeah, of course. Role models for me when I was younger were predominantly men anyway, so watching them on the telly was always a big thing. I’ve always been into football and followed it, so it’s really exciting.

We’ve had opportunities now where we’ve met young people and they’re excited to meet us as well. It’s going to take some getting used to I think, probably for a long time, but it’s cool to think that we're now role models to a whole new generation.

What’s it like when you see kids that want autographs and selfies with you and stuff?

It’s still a bit surreal. It’s my first season in this division, so I’m still getting used to it. But yeah, there’s a lot of support for us now and the women’s game in general. It’s exciting to be a part of it.

Can you tell us about the highs and lows and the challenges that have got you to where you are today?

I was at Charlton for a long time, since I was eight. I was there for 14 years, like I've said. So I kind of got comfortable I think. So now I’m pushing myself into a new league at a different level, and it’s good for me to grow as a player, and the girls are helping and the club’s helping me a lot. It’s good to be a part of it.

It’s going to take some getting used to I think, probably for a long time, but it’s cool to think that we're now role models to a whole new generation"
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How does it feel to have made that transition at a time when the profile of the game is growing so rapidly, and there’s so much good going on? You must notice a big difference…

Overall it’s a complete lifestyle change. I got to quit my job and go full-time, doing something that I love doing. Just day in, day out you get to play football and that’s what it was all about. I always dreamed of doing it and even a couple of years ago it wasn’t as big as it is now. So actually doing it, and getting used to doing it is exciting.

What was your job?

I used to work in a pharmaceuticals company.

Was it something of a leap of faith to just be like, I’m doing this now…

Because I’m a bit older – I’m not old, I’m 23, nearly 24 – but relatively speaking, I didn’t know if I’d missed my chance. But I’ve always had a good connection with Tottenham – I’ve played against them for many years – and when they got promoted they reached out to me and I’m glad that they did. 

My old work were always really supportive anyway, they always supported my football. So for me it was a no-brainer and they were happy to let me go. My old colleagues still message me. Hopefully they’re going to come up and watch.

My old colleagues still message me. Hopefully they’re going to come up and watch"
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What do you think this game will do for the club and for bringing in more fans?

I just think it’s a good advert to say that they’re giving us support. We’re doing little things like signing sessions alongside the men, so they’re including us a lot more, which is something that I’m not used to and I don’t think a lot of the girls are used to. But it’s been really nice.

What type of things would you like to achieve in the game and what personal goals have you got?

So this year was just getting my head down and working hard, making, not a name for myself, but establishing myself in the team. So I think for us this year our focus is on not rolling over and being one of the teams that’s come up and being the underdogs, but saying that actually we are good enough to be in this league and proving that week in, week out.

What does it feel like for your family, knowing that you’re playing here on Sunday?

They’re super-proud anyway, no matter what. They’re literally my number one fans. I know everyone says that, but they really are. They follow me everywhere. My brother-in-law is actually a Spurs fan, so he’s super-excited to come up here. He’s coming a bit early so that he can look in the club shop and stuff. They’re excited and I’m excited.

How do you think you’ll feel being in the tunnel and hearing all the noise?

Obviously we’ve already played at big stadiums this year, but I think to come out at our own stadium, in front of our fans in a North London Derby… I don’t really know what I’m expecting to be honest. I’ll be nervous, but hopefully good nerves.

As you said, you’ve played at big stadiums already this season. Do you think you’d want more and more of that?

Yeah, definitely. I think that if we can attract the crowds and people are consistently coming to our games then I don’t see why we can’t keep doing these sorts of events.

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Check out our other interviews with Chloe Morgan, Jenna Schillaci and Becky Spencer in the build up to the North London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 

Tottenham Hotspur Women v Arsenal Women kicks off today at 3pm, and you can watch it live on BT Sport.