Promising footballer Taylor Hinds believes the invaluable advice she has received from stars at Arsenal Ladies – including in-form Euros goal machine Jodie Taylor – has already had a huge impact on her career.

The 18-year-old Arsenal forward from Links View, who started out at Northampton Town as a 10-year-old, has been training with the Arsenal Ladies first team since January, having come through the development set-up.

And despite having been involved with the senior set-up for only half a year, Hinds insists being around WSL stars has already had a huge influence on her playing career – and is now rethinking her own pathway into professional football. 

“I had been considering playing football on a scholarship at a university in America, but Jodie Taylor gave me some positive advice on why I should stay here,” said Hinds, who has recently completed her A-levels at Kingsthorpe College.

“I’ve talked to a few of them – including Fara Williams and Alex Scott – it was an amazing experience to learn about their stories and hear their advice.

“Scott has been one of my main role models since I was a girl and having come through the Arsenal development set-up, it was so surreal training with her and being in the changing room with her because she was a player I always looked up to – and now it makes me look up to them even more.”

“I think staying at Arsenal will make me a bigger and better player,” she added.

And Hinds, who is now on the cusp of signing a professional contract with the Gunners, paid tribute to the SSE Next Generation Scheme, run in collaboration with SportsAid, through which she received support from travel costs to lifestyle management by courtesy of specifically tailored workshops while at Arsenal Ladies’ academy.

“The scheme helped me massively,” Hinds conceded. 

“I’ve been driving since February and the scheme paid for my fuel to get to training and – I drive down from Northampton so it goes a long way.

“The extra money also means I can go to the gym more, which is what I need to be working on if I’m to break into the first team.

“I could buy football boots too – a good pair aren’t cheap and even in that sense, it’s taught me how to budget – you can’t just spend the money on whatever you want, you have to use it for your future career and what you want to do.”

And Hinds – who joins world and Olympic champion Katie Archibald as an SSE alumni – was eager to pass on her experience to each of the 50 athletes who are on the scheme this year.

“My advice to any of the young athletes who are currently on the SSE scheme would be to attend the workshops – I went to one and it was amazing to listen to other people’s stories, hearing their advice and learning about things such as nutrition.

“Kids might not take it seriously enough to eat properly and ensure they’re having the correct diet, but I learned that it’s so important.

“The workshops made me think about buying protein shakes because to help me with my recovery – it’s a real eye opener.”

Hinds, who has aspirations to one day represent her country at senior level, will head to the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in Northern Ireland next month, which kicks off on August 8.

“As a team, we’re feeling confident – we’ve had a good winning run this year, but we know the standard is going to be very high,” Hinds said.

“I’ll be at the Euros when I get my A-level results, but I don’t want to find out until I’m back!”

Since 2013, SSE is proud to make a difference to young people, their families and their communities, by investing in the future of sporting talent through the SSE Next Generation scheme. Keep up to date @YourSSE