A Year 1 Birkenhead Sixth Form Student scored the winning goal to send Tranmere Rovers Ladies into the third round of the FA Cup.
At the age of just 16, Jess Durr fired home the only goal in a 1-0 cup win against West Didsbury & Chorlton away from home at the weekend, with the teenage star sending the Rovers through to play Cheadle Town Stingers in the next round of the world’s oldest club competition later this month.
Endearingly referred to as ‘the youngster in our squad’ by the TRFC Ladies official social media channels, Jess only made the step up to first-team football over the summer, having been on the books of the Super White Army for nearly a decade.
Coming on as an 80th-minute substitute in the match, Jess found herself playing out of her comfort zone on the right wing, with her preferred positions being across the defence or in centre midfield. Unfazed by the changes, Jess managed to slot home the winner for the travelling side and was swamped by celebrating teammates after securing the victory to send Tranmere through.
Indeed, Jess’s feats on the pitch are matched by her ambitions and determination off it, and the former West Kirby Grammar School student has set her sights on continuing her footballing progression and eventually turning professional.
Studying for A Levels in Maths, Business and, of course, her favourite subject of PE, Jess divides her time between study and high-level football. Her passion for both is clear, and having only joined the College in September, her impressive start to sixth form life is equal to her displays on the football field. Training sessions, gym workouts and match days are all worked around Jess’s strong commitment to academic work, and the move to the College has suited her work ethic down to the ground.
Jess said, “I work a lot better when I can plan my own independent study time, and much prefer to be able to spend free time at my own desk in my own room rather than when I was having to be in school 100% of the time. It definitely gets the best out of me.”
“I suppose everything I’m doing might seem like a lot of commitment, but I enjoy it all so it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me and I take it in my stride.”
Naming her football idols as England star Lucy Bronze, and Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk (‘a beast’, according to Jess!), she got in contact with the College’s Student Engagement Officer when she first started to set up a women’s football team club, which is now into its third week of running.
Jess said, “I chose to come to the College because it just seemed really welcoming. The teachers were really nice and being able to call them by their first names helps to make a nice atmosphere to work in.
“You get to meet loads of different people that I wouldn’t have done at school. I knew a few people who came here from my school but I’ve made loads of other friends now and it was so easy to settle in.”
Jess’s match-winning exploits at the weekend were just the start of what will surely be an incredibly impressive career, as she progresses through the ranks at Tranmere. Next stop – England?