Carid: “I Am A Warrior”
By Kevin Affleck
Match-winning forward Andrea Carid feels her diet and improved levels of fitness has been a major factor behind her sparkling form this season.
The 26-year-old planted a diving header past the Plymouth goalkeeper ten minutes from time on Sunday to seal a thrilling 5-4 win for the Ladies in the game between third and first. She now has ten goals for the season and puts it down to the way she has looked after herself.
“When I came here [in June last year] I was in really good fitness,” she said. “I was 55kg, all my muscles were in in shape. One month later I lost everything because I didn't eat. I started to work at McDonald's and when you have to get up at 3.30am, you are not going to eat anything. My diet was bad. I spoke with a friend who is a nutritionist but I couldn't follow it. I gained a lot weight as I was used to training six days a week and then I was training just two.”
Things changed when she got a better routine and a better structure after landing a job at a school in February. She also buddied up with fitness coach Pablo Mandiola.
“I switched to a plant-based diet, I go to the gym before school and I feel much, much better,” she said. “Pablo was amazing with me. He was always, always pushing me. I was telling him I cannot do it but he always said I can and was always pushing me. When I think I cannot do something, I just remember Pablo. He pushed me the way I needed to be. He was not, ‘Ah, poor Andrea’. He just said, ‘Train more, train more’. I am so grateful to him. I am a fighter, I am a warrior and I am not afraid now because of him.”
Mandiola has since moved to a role with the first team on the back of his work with the Ladies while Carid goes from strength with a team who are top of the Southern Premier League. She is thriving in the environment created by Head Coach Clinton Lancaster.
“Watford is really good and we play the game the right way,” said Carid. “This year we have a really good team. The key is people want to work hard and that's the most important thing. We have lots of good players but we come here, work hard and do our best. The team can do a really good season if we carry on. If we keep working hard we can finish top, but working hard is the key. It doesn't matter if you are good or not good – you need to train and work.”
Read our full feature with Andrea Carid here, where she talks about arriving in Hertfordshire from Spain, playing in oversized boots and buying every piece of Watford FC merchandise she can get her hands on.