Catherine Keipes is a goalkeeper for the women’s national team of Luxemburg. She also plays for Sporting Bettemburg, the country’s current champion in women’s soccer.
I interviewed Keipes on Thursday for this blog.
(Note: I conducted the original interview in German and the American English translation is mine).
Denis Knezovic: How did you start playing soccer?
Catherine Keipes: I started playing soccer with boys during breaks in elementary school. I always wanted to be in goal and that was the beginning of it all. I don’t know why it started out that way, but it was when I realized that soccer was fun. I also played for the school team.
D.K.: When did you start playing club soccer outside of school?
Catherine Keipes: I went to my first club outside of school in 1997.
D.K.: How is it possible to balance soccer with a job?
Catherine Keipes: I think you must have a job and an employer that make it possible to still play soccer. In my situation it is possible to pursue my hobby that is soccer. But because of my job, it’s impossible to be at every training session at the club or the national team.
I now work a 30-hour week. When I used to work a 40-hour week, I was also still on the national team and it went well.
But now I’m often stressed, despite the reduced hours, because the end of my shift and the beginning of training are 3 hours apart and there’s either a 75-minute train ride or a 90-minute car drive to training. I don’t have other hobbies besides soccer, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to balance it all.
D.K.: You played for several clubs. How did that come about and how do transfers work in Luxembourg’s women’s soccer?
Catherine Keipes: My first club was in the small town where my school was. I stayed there until a women’s club was formed close to where I lived. I was at that club for five years. Then I left because they were relegated and I didn’t want to play in the second division. I usually left clubs for my own reasons.
There is a lot of paperwork involved in transfers.
D.K.: How did the transfer to Bettemburg come about?
C.K.: I wanted to change clubs for the 2016/17 season and there were several options, including a club in the second Belgian division. But when the coach from Bettemburg asked, I immediately agreed.
D.K.: Is it true that you are a pioneer in Luxembourg’s women’s soccer?
C.K.: No, there were women’s teams before 1997 and I joined the national team for the first time a while after it was formed.
D.K.: How did the association and women’s soccer in Luxembourg develop since you joined?
C.K.: Our association has promoted women’s soccer in the past. But the women’s game is still not being supported as much as the men’s. The sponsors for example are mostly interested in the men’s game.
Women’s soccer is developing more and more every year. More girls are playing the sport and there are more clubs, leagues and divisions. There are also a few female players who play abroad.
D.K.: What are your goals for the future in soccer?
C.K.: I want to win as many titles as possible with my club. I want to establish myself again in the national team. Most of all, I wish to have good performances and results with both teams and support them both in every aspect.
D.K.: Thanks for the interview!