Town’s overseas football stars have small home comforts

Doncaster Rovers Belles players, from left, Aine O'Gorman,   Kylla Sjoman and Maria Karlsson in one of their bedrooms at the Ramada Encore Hotel at Robin Hood Airport hotel.
Doncaster Rovers Belles players, from left, Aine O'Gorman, Kylla Sjoman and Maria Karlsson in one of their bedrooms at the Ramada Encore Hotel at Robin Hood Airport hotel.
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THEY may be able to bend it like Beckham - but they certainly can’t spend it like Beckham!

The former England skipper is living the life of luxury in a California mansion as he plays in the USA...

But the ladies Doncaster Rovers Belles brought in from overseas to help them play in the new women’s superleague are packing their lives into a single room each.

Tomorrow they will be playing on live television at the Keepmoat in the first top flight football game to be broadcast from South Yorkshire this year.

But when they get home, Rovers’ big foreign stars don’t return to plush mansions - they go back to the four walls of their rooms in a hotel just outside Doncaster. Republic of Ireland international striker Aine O’Gorman is loving the chance to make a living playing football in Doncaster - but she is not expecting to shell out on any Ferarris.

Neither are the team’s other foreign stars, Maria Karlsson, from Sweden, and Kulla Sjoman, from Canada, who all live in the same Robin Hood Airport Ramada Hotel as her.

Aine said: “We get our hotel and accommodation provided, so we have a living wage.

“I don’t think you would run a family on it though. I won’t be buying a house like David Beckham’s.

“Obviously the male players get looked after very well, and there is not as much money as there is in their game.

“But it is nice to be looked after in a hotel and myself, Maria and Kylla get on very well.

“They are real tourists, and have been all around Yorkshire. I’ve usually been going shopping while they’ve been doing that.

“We aren’t doing other jobs - we are just playing football, so it is a full-time job in that sense.

“As well as playing football, we’ve been going into the schools and coaching all sorts of children, of all ages, boys and girls.

“Doncaster is great and we really know our way around now, having played here since January.

“We go into town a lot and we really like the restaurants.I thought it would be difficult living in a hotel room for all this time, but we have our own rooms and we have made them our own with our own possessions.

“I do miss my friends and family back home, but my mum and dad have been over to visit twice.”

Tomorrow evening sees them play their first live televised game for the club.

It is their last game before the ladies’ season breaks for the women’s World Cup.

The Belles plan to give the game, against Everton at the Keepmoat Stadium, a party atmosphere.

They describe the event as a family festival evening with entertainment and competition prizes to be won, including signed merchandise, season tickets and footballs.There will also be the opportunity to meet the players and, for keen football enthusiasts, there is the chance to take part in skills sessions with football freestyler Charlotte Lade.

The game, live on ESPN, starts at 7.45pm.

Belles are giving away 2,500 tickets to fans as well as giving away more than 100 prizes at the game including a visit to a training session with both Doncaster Rovers men’s team and the Belles, season tickets for both teams, football shirts and Westlife concert tickets.

n To claim a free tickets call 01302 762576 or email info@keepmoatstadium.com or go to the Keepmoat Stadium’s ticket office.