Experienced player, former Serie A national and youth national team, Joanna Schwartz is one of the managers and vice-captain of Vincent Nogueira’s squad. Interview with a player whose trajectory recalls that of her shots, always on goal.
Editor’s note: The interview was conducted before the May 8 match against Brest.
A: Were you a Racing fan before signing there, how did it happen and what prompted you to join the Regional 1 climbing project?
I had been at FC Vendenheim for 10 years, interrupted by a season at Henin Beaumont. All my teammates I got along with had left, the atmosphere was no longer the same, I needed a change. So I was following Women’s Racing and I knew they were planning to move up to Division 2. I thought to myself why not take this challenge.
A: Can you already tell us how you feel about your season so far?
For our 2nd season, finally really 1st season, (since last year it was cut by the covid) I find the results to be very satisfying. To be 5th today in a group with women’s professional club teams is truly extraordinary.
A: Your team is now ranked 5th and can still claim 4th place, is it any surprise to you to see yourself so high after never completed seasons in D2 due to the pandemic?
It is sure that when we say that last year we only played 3 games and that for the first full season we are 5, it is a nice surprise. But it also comes from the collective efforts, solidarity and potential of the team.
A: On a more individual level, are you satisfied with your playing time and performance, especially stats?
At the beginning of the season, inevitably disappointed for not having a lot of time to play, when you are a competitor you must necessarily play as much as possible. But lately it’s been getting better. Compared to my performance, as a striker the number of goals will never be satisfactory because we would like to score as many as possible. But luckily I’m quite happy with the assists.
A: This year you celebrated your 30th birthday, you want to be part of the continuity, you have the goal of making a climb and why not play one day in D1 with the Bleues?
Of course I would still like to play at a high level for as long as possible, if my body allows it, in any case the desire is still there! That Racing is in D1 would be a source of pride!
A: You are certainly very experienced, but many note the overall youth of the squad, did this prevent you from winning certain games or, on the contrary, did it allow you to win some thanks to a form of recklessness?
I think at the beginning of the season he could have played tricks on us, in relation to managing emotions when we were ahead in the scoring. But today we can clearly see that we have found a balance between young and experienced girls. We notice that the group is more mature than at the beginning of the season.
A: You have played for a long time for FC Vendenheim, who are officially relegated to Regional 1 today, I imagine that, in the years spent there, you must have suffered from your fall? How do you explain this?
Of course, it’s sad for FC Vendenheim, given their history in women’s football and the region. But I think it could have been handled better by trying to keep the girls from the region as well as the young people trained in the club.
A: Are you a fan of Racing, as we know, in the current squad, who is your favorite player and if you have one, why?
I have several, but the one I really like is Dimitri Liénard. I love his left, the character of him, who always gives everything for the team and pushes his teammates! You can really see that he wets the shirt of his club and his fans!
A: You are described as the teammate that “everyone loves” by everyone at the club because you always have a smile and are always in a good mood, where does this joie de vivre come from?
It makes me happy to hear that. It is true that I always try to have a smile and a good mood. I like to laugh, it’s important. I tell myself we don’t know what tomorrow is made of so we might as well enjoy it and be happy!
R: How do you judge today, with your experience, women’s football, its overall development, are you satisfied? If not, what do you think are the main areas for improvement?
I think women’s football has evolved a lot, there are a lot more women’s clubs than professional clubs. Especially in D2, Racing, Nantes, Le Havre, Lille, Lens etc. Women’s matches are starting to be seen much more on the screens, but I find that from a pay and recognition point of view, the road is still long. Many girls still combine work or study with football today.
A: 11 years ago racingstub.com did one of his first interviews of women with you among the people questioned, today on the site there are the statistics, the files of the Racing players. What do you say?
I find him grateful for us. The girls must also be put forward in relation to the sacrifices they offer!