England goalkeeper Carly Telford is writing a monthly column for The Offside Rule Podcast throughout the 2015/16 football season.
In her first column, the Notts County goalie discusses the upcoming FA Cup final, the success at the Women’s World Cup, and which of her England team-mates got stuck on a water slide in Canada.
The SSE Women’s FA Cup final
A few people have mentioned it now, it’s not that I keep forgetting, it’s just if you think about it too much then you get all the emotions and you worry about what might happen! But it’s really exciting, the stage it’s on, live on TV and it will be one of the biggest games of most of our careers.
I can’t wait for Saturday to come around but if I think about it too much I’ll not sleep as much and that’s not good for anybody! But it will continue the rise of our game, you’d almost think it had been planned! I’ve been lucky enough to play in two cup finals and they were great experiences. I have no doubt it’ll be about 30 degrees on Saturday as it’s always hot on cup final day, but it’s a fantastic time with the attention on women’s football and we can’t wait to prove again just how much we love the game and what it means to represent our game at the highest level.
Notts County haven’t always been at the height of things for a few years – the red of Nottingham has taken over a bit in terms of their men’s team – so it’s nice that we can bring some pride back to the black and white badge. We can’t wait; we’ve had meetings about it and it’s all starting to become very real for us now. There wasn’t much talk of it whilst we were away in Canada but after the defeat against Arsenal on Sunday we got a couple of days off to reflect and prepare for the cup final.
I felt really good after Sunday, although I was a little bit stiff as I did a lot more kicking than I expected! The defenders were giving me the chat up, “we’ll look after you, Carly” but it didn’t quite work out like that! It was never about putting myself at the risk of injury, I just needed game time. I’ve done a lot of rehab to make sure the shoulder injury I had is gone and I’m in the best state possible going into Saturday. It was important to get a game under my belt and as a goalkeeper, it’s very important to get back into a rhythm. I’m not injured now but I don’t know how it will play out on Saturday. We’ve had a few volunteers who think it’s easy, saying “Oh, I’ll go in goal” and things like that!
Everyone’s had a go at some point but Ellen White, Rachel Williams and one or two others have said they don’t mind going in if they have to but it will be up to the management if anything was to happen, but I don’t think we have to worry about it. I was surprised when the BBC tweeted I was injured after I’d played 90 minutes on Sunday; I was getting a lot of panic tweets, but I’m okay and I’ll be playing on Saturday.
Women’s World Cup success
I think if you’d said to us before the tournament we’d get to the semi-finals and beat Germany for third place we’d have taken that! Of course we wanted to win it, we believed we could, but we also wanted to inspire a new generation and I think we’ve done that. The only better way to do that would have been to win it, but to play for a bronze medal and beat one of our main rivals was fantastic.
I was sitting with Jill [Scott] and I remember asking her if we could go from being quarter-finalists to winning the tournament and I think we’ve shown we can make those steps and it’s only going to get better for us. Don’t get me wrong, we all wanted a gold medal but looking back on the journey, 18 months since new management came in, new personnel, it’s been fantastic. We just went on a really good run throughout the tournament.
It still doesn’t seem real looking at my little bronze medal sat on the wall and looking through my phone at pictures, it seems so long ago now! It’s been incredible how things have changed since we came home – I’ve been asked to switch Christmas lights on this year. Mark [Sampson] said in one of his last meetings that we won’t realise it now but we’ll meet someone we don’t know in 20 years and we’ll be the reason that person started playing football; those are the things that hit home and you reflect on when it’s all over.
An Edmonton water slide
We were in Edmonton and it’s got one of the biggest shopping malls in the world, with even a water park in it! It’s got every shop under the sun so we all went off for a couple of hours. My brother was also there, Toni Duggan’s brother, Karen Carney’s cousin and boyfriend, and Toni was bored walking around with us!
We all got back on the bus at 4pm and Toni hadn’t turned up, she came back late and the lads were all cracking up about something. Basically, there were a lot of slides and one of them did a bit of a loop-the-loop, which she had to go down after losing a bet with one of the guys. There were kids in there who recognised her so she didn’t want to go down it . . . and she got stuck! She was wearing shorts which had slowed her down and she actually started sliding backwards back up the slide.
They had to call the lifeguards, open the emergency hatch and get her out! There were loads of kids cheering and laughing because everyone recognised her; she said she sloped back off to the changing rooms, got changed and left. We had a meeting that night, Mark got us all in and asked if anything interesting had happened when we were out and we were all cracking up before we could even tell him. It was the most hilarious moment!