Galva’s Nicole Withrow didn’t grow up with soccer, but it didn’t take long to find her place on the sidelines.
Teamwork is required to be the best women’s soccer team in the world. Here, Nicole Withrow from Galva plays a role in the success of the team.
“It’s all of the behind-the-scenes aspects that I don’t think many people see.” said Withrow.
Withrow is one of the few equipment managers for US football and the women’s national team.
“I don’t have a football background and that’s the best reaction. People ask, ‘So did you play?’ and I said no, I didn’t, “said Withrow.
While studying at Western Illinois University in Quad Cities, Nicole interned with professional soccer teams in Orlando, Florida.
“In junior year in college I realized that I really loved sports and I wanted to see if I could do something in sports,” said Withrow. “I applied for all kinds of internships, part-time jobs, everything just to see what would happen.”
After months of volunteering and another job paying the bills, she got a job at US Soccer in Carson, California.
“My mother always told me it was you and she was right.” said Withrow.
She suddenly learned the ropes that supported one of the most successful soccer teams of all time.
“Our daily routine at camp, we have this huge semi full of gear, with these big suitcases full of training gear, jackets, I mean any kind of training gear, training gear that you can imagine we probably have,” “Withrow said .
When the team takes to the streets, she’s ready to go.
“It was cold in the Netherlands so we put hats and gloves on for socks if they need anything,” said Withrow. “We’re going to have training tops, training shorts, everything is planned, we need to know your size, Jake helps me with that, we have a little space with a name tag and it just makes sure that they literally have everything they can possibly need. It is just everything for the players and staff. “
Once the players are ready, they head out onto the field to help out as they need to.
“I didn’t have a football background so I had to know the dimensions of the field.” said Withrow. “When a coach like, ‘Hey Nicole, I need you to put that on top of 18’, I’m not saying good, what is 18?”
She said she had no plans to work with the women’s team when she applied for the job, but it didn’t take her long to find a spot on the sidelines.
“If the girls don’t have to come and ask me anything, or ask Jake anything, I’d say we did pretty well,” Withrow said. “It takes a village, and although I play a small part, it’s an honor to do that.”