Carly Telford column: “I’m fighting for my place, I’m prepared to do that because competition is strong”

After a turbulent 2016 that saw Notts County goalkeeper Carly Telford regularly in the England squad, her season was curtailed in the summer when she suffered a serious ankle injury in a match against Doncaster Rovers Belles in the FA Women’s Super League. But Telford is back in 2017 with her first column of the year reflecting on her highs and lows of a difficult year…

 

Best Moment of 2016

Well, this is a tough one given how the year went but beating Liverpool early in the season was probably one of the best moments. Up to about the 75th minute it was the best we played all season, the support was great and we were just flying.

We don’t get three points too often against the bigger teams and we played so well, personally I would have liked a clean sheet but we slipped a little bit in the last ten minutes. We had some good games later in the season, we played well at Doncaster but it’s really difficult. Everything off the field has been amazing, I got a new house and a new car but on the field, it’s not gone as I hoped!

Being at the SheBelieves Cup for the first time was a good experience, we were playing against the best teams in the world and it was a real step for us so I enjoyed that.

 

Worst Moment of 2016

It’s obviously the injury; it was a horrible moment for me and compounded one of the worst years I’ve had in football really. I think being in goal when Manchester City thrashed us 5-1 would have been up there but I was doing punditry for BT Sport through that which wasn’t easy either!

On a brighter note, I was passed fit to be able to go to La Manga, I’m medically fit to play but whether I’m ready to play or not is completely down to Mark [Sampson]. All those things have to be considered but right now I’m just glad to be back, I’ve been back training and I’m looking forward to getting back together with the girls.

I feel perfect, it will be good to get back training with England but I still need to get more fitness under my belt but there’s a lot of games to do that coming up. When you’re so regularly in the squad, being left out isn’t that nice and it’s hard when the team is going away without you so I’m just really glad to be selected again.

 

Funniest Moment of 2016

I dropped Toni [Duggan] in it last year and she still gets quite a bit of banter for that! It’s tough this year but I think I’m probably going to have to drop myself in it here…

Me and Jill Scott were out at the SheBelieves Cup and I got s**t on by an eagle. It was all over me, it was on my face, down my leg and we were halfway between the team hotel and Starbucks. We were closer to Starbucks so we actually just kept on walking until I could find somewhere to clean myself up! I didn’t have a choice, Jill obviously found it hilarious, maybe that was my sign to rule out 2016 and just give up on the year!

Claire Rafferty losing her weave in one of the games was a personal highlight too, she got some banter for that in the dressing room after the game and obviously it got a lot of attention on social media because it was picked up on TV.

 

Looking Forward

Whilst the Spring Series isn’t for everyone, for me it’s a great chance to get back to fitness and get games under my belt. Usually I’d go and play with the reserves which I don’t mind but it would be awful if I just had six months of friendlies or just training because it would be hard for me to gauge where I am fitness wise and to get games that I need.

At the moment I’m fighting for my place, I’m prepared to do that because competition is strong and I’m looking forward to it. Some people may not like the Spring Series but for us at Notts County it’s a good time to see where we are and develop some of the younger players. Everyone has different ideas about it, Chelsea have strengthened but some players like Ana Borges are staying at home for six months before coming back for the full season.

 

Follow Carly on Twitter @carlytelford1 and keep an eye out for her future columns @OffsideRulePod.

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