Presenter Alex Scott intends to remain true to herself as she continues to do things differently on screen.
The 36-year-old is set to be the pitchside reporter for Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 on ITV, which takes place on September 4 at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Last month, Scott was confirmed as the next host of the BBC’s Football Focus, replacing Dan Walker, to become the first female presenter of the Saturday lunchtime programme, which has been broadcast since 1974.
The profile of the former Arsenal and England defender continues to rise as she forges a new career behind the microphone following her retirement from playing the game three years ago.
Scott, though, will not allow the spotlight to deflect her away from her core values.
“When I was coming in (to the industry), I always knew that I was kind of different in terms of what I had seen, how TV was in the past, and my thing is that I always just want to be me,” Scott told the PA news agency.
“I think that straight away the public would see, and the people around me would see, if I was ever going to try and be someone else – you would lose the person that I am.
“So I am just fortunate enough that everyone around me, the ITV and SoccerAid people, want me to come on screen and want me to bring my true self, so I feel lucky about that.”
Scott added: “Whether it is in football or whether it is in broadcasting, it is about hard work, first and foremost.
“So to me, being announced to be involved with Soccer Aid, I don’t want people to be like: ‘oh, she is a female host’ – it is because they all know I love football and I am passionate about it.”
Despite Scott’s prominence, the former England right-back is determined to stay grounded.
“It is only other people telling you that you are a trailblazer, you are this or you are that,” Scott said.
“But all I can ever do is continue to be myself and continue to work hard, keep doing what I am doing, then everyone else sees inspiration in that.”
Women’s football will again take centre stage when Team GB compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
Hopes are also high England will make a major impact at Euro 2022, which will take place on home soil.
“Every time there is a major tournament for women’s football, it is like we are going up another step,” said Scott, who was part of the London 2012 Team GB squad and also the England team which finished third at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
“I always say it is great to look at the progress, but it is not for us to settle and be like: ‘OK, we are at a great spot now’.
“It is always pushing for more and to make sure that we keep raising the profile.”
::Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 takes place on Saturday, September 4 at the Etihad Stadium. The money raised from this year’s game will help UNICEF fight back against the Covid-19 pandemic by helping to deliver two billion vaccines worldwide. Tickets are available at: socceraid.org.uk/tickets