Notts County and England goalkeeper Carly Telford talks to The Offside Rule about how the new signings are settling in and what factors there are when players choose clubs.Embed from Getty Images
I think the fans may have doubted what’s gone on this winter, and I can understand the frustration of watching other clubs fighting over players, but we’re competing with clubs that have some very deep pockets.
There are lots of factors; for example, some players are attracted by clubs they’ve supported all their lives. If you get an offer from your club, it’s hard to turn down – for me, it’s like having Newcastle United in the FA WSL! So, with many players for us, we’re already starting on the back foot, but rest assured that the management are doing a lot of work behind the scenes to strengthen.
The good news is that the new players we have signed have come in and done really well. Tasha [Flint] scored at the weekend, which will hopefully settle her in – she’s got such a gift. The [Manchester] City girls know what she offers, and I think she’ll be a massive threat for us this season if we can utilise her correctly. Maja [Krantz] is perfect for us too; she’s a grafter and she works really hard. She’s left footed, she’s right footed, and she’s a bit of an unknown quantity for other teams.
Megan [Walsh] has come in too, and that’s been good for me. I know it sounds false, but it is nice to work for someone and not assume that you’re the No1. It’s nice to turn up and have someone to train with and get along with. She’s a really good youngster, and whether she learns anything from me, I don’t know, but she’s a good kid and she’s got bags of potential.
Everton was a good test for us; they have a lot of good young players. The first half was a very old-fashioned Notts County, but we’re trying to eliminate that way of playing this year. We want more possession, to get on the ball more, and expand our style of play. Getting on the training field more often and utilising what we have has been a big boost, and we’re looking to be a bit more dynamic in what we can do.
You put your tracksuit on before the game and it feels like you’ve never been away; the anticipation of the new season really builds. It’s now about whether we can show our work on the pitch when we get to the first game. It’s all exciting – [Sophie] Bradders came back, she was really excited to be back; it was a really nice day, and loads of people turned up, which was really nice too.
We’ve got footballers who want to be on the ball, and we trust in what we’ve got because not a lot has changed. We’ve lost a couple of players – very good players – but with the WSL at the highest level now, things are changing. Chelsea and other teams are going abroad; it’s not the old school league now, players want to be ambitious and it’s not all about loyalty.
We haven’t got deep pockets here, but there’s a lot of love at the club, so we’ve really welcomed the players who have arrived here over the winter. I completely understand it’s concerning for fans when they see players like Desi [Scott] and Alex [Greenwood] leaving, but it’s part of football.
I suppose Alex was a breath of fresh air for us in a way, as she came in as a youngster and was very much loved here. She grew into an international, and I know it was probably upsetting for fans to see her leave, but there are always reasons for why players leave. Her family were in Liverpool – she’s going back to her home club, and you’ve got to allow these players to make their own decisions.
We’ve all got broad shoulders here, and it’s about making the best of what we have. I’m sure Rick [Passmoor] and the board are doing what they can to bring players in; things are changing all the time, and it’s part of watching women’s football grow. Our players going full-time has been like having new signings as well; Amy Turner’s gone full-time, and Rachel Williams has never been full-time before. When there were just 6 or 7 of us who were full-time, it was hard to work together as a team regularly, whereas now we’ve got a full eleven who can train together – plus more – every day.
Read more from Carly here!
Follow Carly on Twitter @carlytelford1