Laura Woods opens up on her career highlight, her ‘power woman’ and ‘excruciatingly embarrassing’ live TV moment

LAURA WOODS has lifted the lid on the origin of her career in sport and revealed her ‘power woman’.

The sports presenter, who recently joined TNT Sports, opened up on her inspirations and gave her take on the current landscape of women’s football in an interview with Karen Millen.

InstagramLaura Woods has enjoyed a glittering broadcasting career so far[/caption]

GettyWoods lifted the lid on her career inspiration[/caption]

Woods, 36, was first asked where her passion for sports came from.

In reply, she revealed: “Passion for sport for me started when I was very young.

“I think it’s just something that my mum threw me and my brothers into all the time to get us to get out of the house.

“We had so much energy. She [mum] was so busy and she needed to get us to make loads of friends, stay out the house, keep busy and it was just our happy place when we were younger.”

Woods started off her career in the industry as a runner on Soccer AM.

And while Woods also did work experience with the Croydon Advertiser, she admitted she fell in love with a “magical thing” with telly when she walked into the Soccer AM studio.

She has enjoyed a stunning career so far, picking up a number of awards along the way.

However, Woods admitted the last six to eight months, spreading over both the men’s and women’s World Cup have been special for her.

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Woods holds a particular affinity for the Qatar World Cup final between Argentina and France, a match she describes as the “best game of football I’ve ever seen”.

She added: “You had Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe and I don’t think you could have scripted a better final.

“So to be there in person and watch it and work on it was just like at the time that was the pinnacle.”

That’s not to say the Women’s World Cup was any less significant, with Woods insisting despite England‘s heartbreak in the final, the rapid growth of the game over the last two years was great to see.

But Woods also acknowledges the monumental challenges Women’s football still has to overcome, as well as Women wanting to work in the sports industry.

Asked what advice she would give to women or girls looking to forge a career in sport, she said: “I always remember one of the first pieces of ‘advice’ I was ever told was from a producer.

“He had heard I wanted to be a presenter, and back then there was a real ‘Oh you want to be a presenter’ and I was like ‘Yeah, I do’.

“And he said: ‘One piece of advice for women is you have a much higher height to fall from, so you have to be better’.

“And It stuck in my head at the time because I was like ‘Why? That’s really unfair’. But it is unfair, it’s not a level playing field yet.

GettyWoods slammed the ‘narrow-minded attitude’ at the top of football[/caption]

“The thing I took from that is, okay I will be better, I’ll work harder and do my research. What it actually did for me was it just made me a very good professional.”

She continued: “So I would say to anyone, it’s going to be very difficult because it’s very competitive but you have to back that you’re going to do all your homework and have your own ways of doing things and not try to replicate what someone else is doing because it doesn’t work.

“And also don’t be disheartened if you’re really bad at it to begin with, because everybody is with presenting. It’s so unnatural and your job is to make the unnatural look natural. And that’s hard.

“It just takes practice and you will fail and it will be excruciatingly embarrassing especially if it’s on camera. But guess what? You’re never going to do that again.”

Woods has described the gender disparity in football as “exhausting”, referencing comments made by Fifa president Gianni Infantino saying women “have to pick the right battles” to “convince us, men, what we have to do” in the fight for equality.

She believes there is more to be done to level the playing field due to rising interest being countered by what Woods’ describes as an “unbelievably narrow-minded attitude” at the top of football.

Funding is one such example, with the Jamaica national team having to crowd-fund their path into the tournament due to a lack of funding from the Jamaican FA.

That being said, former talkSPORT presenter Woods has drawn inspiration from BBC Sport host Gabby Logan.

Woods labelled Logan her “power woman” as both a child and an adult.

GettyWoods said Gabby Logan was an inspiration growing up and now[/caption]

On Logan, she said: “I just watch everything she does and I just think she does it with such class and ease.

“There is something about Gabby that is very rare I think in lots of presenters In that she has this authority.

“You wouldn’t mess with her, but you also would go down the pub and have a pint with her and feel really comfortable in her presence.”

The growth of the women’s game has been immense for all to see, with the World Cup semi-final between England and Australia the biggest-ever TV event for the Aussies.

Woods believes the level of interest being shown means women’s football is going to explode even more over the next ten years.

She explained: “I started working on Lionesses games with ITV two years ago, and we did a game at St Mary’s and the gate was 8000.

“We actually had to close off some of the stands and make sure our camera didn’t face those stands as much as possible.

“Two years later the Lionesses sold out Wembley and it was for the Finalissima. They played and beat Brazil.

“It was honestly the most wonderful experience and just comparing the two different events, that’s how you can really gauge growth.

“Watching them at the World Cup and seeing the level of interest and the fact boys and girls are looking at these sportswomen as superstars and they don’t really care what the gender is.

Leah Williamson said something about that. She said: ‘If you don’t want to get behind it fine, but this is going to explode.’

“Women’s football in a few years time is going to be everywhere and I’m all for it.”

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