As career aspirations go, Olivia Cook and Katie Middleton, two of Nottingham Forest Women’s young guns, are taking theirs to court; the former is delighted that she has the latter as fellow, legal buddy, both of whom are studying Law degrees.
They’ve even gone as far as plotting a name for their own law firm – Middleton-Cook (Legally Blondes) – and, to a point, it does have a nice ring to it.
“Well, Cook-Middleton doesn’t quite work though, does it,“ giggled Olivia, Forest’s centre-half, “and, although I’m not a blonde, Katie is, so I’ll suppose I could dye my hair to match.”
At just 20-years-old however, the world is very much her oyster, with blossoming hopes of a prosperous career on, and off, the football field, both at the forefront of Cook’s mind.
Mind you, a legal career wasn’t quite what she had in mind when finishing her A-Levels, but, things do happen for a reason, and Cook, who’s interest in English and History is often to the fore, might well have seen her travel a differing path – but she’s ready for the challenges ahead.
“Law, like Medicine, is something you have to really want to do,” continued the University of Sheffield student.
“I only really decided what I wanted to do when it came round to filling out the UCAS forms, and I’ve got a major thing for true crime, so, in studying Law, it does give me a greater understanding when watching those kind of programmes.
“But yes, it’s a vocation, and something that you have to have real commitment, dedication towards doing, that and I want to continue playing football at a high a level as possible.”
As luck would have it, Cook’s fellow Forest teammate, Katie Middleton, is also studying Law, she being at Nottingham Trent.
Although not at the same educational establishment, the duo are certainly putting their lockdown blues to good use.
“It’s great that Katie is studying Law also,” explained Olivia.
“We often sit chatting, for hours mind, about it, and then we joke away about setting up our own law firm.
“Seriously though, she’s great, very bubbly, and very lively, and you definitely wouldn’t expect her to be doing a Law degree, perhaps something more practical and active.
“But yes, she’s certainly a little brainbox is Katie, and we can spend hours just chatting away together.”
One thing in which Olivia continues to find herself being grateful for, is the strong support network she harbours, both through university, and sport. That, in itself, has helped her to control her time-management, something she readily admits struggling with- mind, being so busy (current issues withstanding), then it’s easily done.
“The fact that I play for Forest, and for the University, then yes, I’m lucky to have people around me that I do,” admits Olivia.
“You don’t realise how grateful you are, especially to your parents, for what they do for you, as mine have with me for many years, so yes, the balance has been a little difficult at times.”
And what about appearing for Forest, and her life in football; considering her youthful age, Olivia already has a great deal experience within the beautiful game, but she still insists her father at least wanted a boy.
“I’m the middle of three sisters,” adds Olivia.
“But I’m sure that dad wanted a boy because he didn’t waste any time in putting a football in front of me and I guess I started playing properly when I was at primary school, prior to being at the Leeds United Academy from U10s to U16s.
“After that I played for Doncaster for a couple of years, for the higher level experiences more than anything, and a few of us ended up packing a lifetime into around two-and-a-half years.
“Initially I was for Leeds on the Saturday, and Doncaster on the Sunday, then, before you know it, I’m vice-captain, and then captain.”
In moving to Forest however, Olivia is, technically, in her second season pulling on the famed Garibaldi, not that she’s had much luck this season following up what was close to being a successful first season there.
“When I joined the club I was one of a number of new players coming in at the time,” explained Olivia.
“We had a really good season (2019-20 campaign), played consistently, and were expected to be promoted, and then things went somewhat crazy.
“I’ve not even played this season as I picked up an injury (strained ankle ligaments) in a pre-season game and was out of action for some twelve weeks.
“By the time I was able to play again, we’re in lockdown after lockdown, so it’s been really frustrating for me.
“We just want to be able to play football again.”
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @Josh Dixon Forest’s Liv Cook is studying Law at Nottingham University.