Caragh Hamilton is delighted to be learning from the best as she is mentored by broadcasting legend Jacqui Oatley. 

Northern Ireland and Lewes midfielder Hamilton has been paired with Women in Football ambassador Oatley as part of WIF’s The Next Goal programme.

The initiative, which is run in partnership with The Adecco Group and its talent solutions brand LHH sees women’s football players work with a team of expert facilitators to discover what is possible for them in their post-playing careers. 

“I'm really excited that Jacqui's offered to give up her time and just share her expertise and knowledge,” Hamilton said. 

“And I think it's going to be a really good two-way relationship where we both learn from each other, share our experiences. I'm really excited to be working with her.  

“The media is something that I've had a little bit of experience in in the last couple of years and really kind of got a buzz from it. 

“I’ve had a lot of people say to me that it's something that they think that I'm quite talented in and that I should explore.  

“And at the end of the day, I know that it actually might not be for me in the end, but that's ok, you have to be willing to try these things.  

“You have to be willing to maybe fail at times, but knowing that you tried, and that you'll always come out of the experience with having learned something and having gained something and know something more about yourself.” 

Hamilton admits that footballers fail every day on the pitch but that openness to failing and trying again is a great skill to take into their post-playing careers. 

She is hopeful that Oatley will serve up some more honest reflections as she looks to develop a potential career in broadcasting. 

Hamilton added: “I think for me, the biggest thing is someone to give you honest feedback and critique. 

News and Star: Oatley is one of the most respected broadcasters working across sportOatley is one of the most respected broadcasters working across sport (Image: Beat Media)

“That's something that you don't always get or that you don't always seek out so I think it's building the trust and that honesty within that relationship to know that they're not just always going to pat you on the back and say well done. 

“Some people that know you well, and maybe don't want to offend you will do that but a mentor will give you that honesty. 

“And having built that trust and that relationship with them and knowing that you can be vulnerable and ask those questions that maybe you wouldn't to other people.”