Carly Telford column: “You can’t go out and do the same thing every game because it becomes predictable”

Goalkeeper Carly Telford is back to reflect on returning to Notts County after the break, attending England’s training camp in La Manga following her injury and Jill Scott’s 30th birthday celebrations.

Back in the flow

It’s nice to be back with the squad and coming back in to see the girls after the break. The club is kind of back on track as a whole now and I’m sure the gaffer is working hard on bringing other new faces in, after signing Kirsty [Linnett] who it’s great to have on board this season.

Everyone’s in good spirits, we’ve moved into the new university building where the facilities are fantastic and we’ve got everything we need there – we’re very lucky! The new owner, Alan Hardy, is very keen to get things back on track. We’re advertising for new development officers to get our Regional Talent Club on track and he can’t do enough to help the club at the moment.

We’re really blessed to have his backing, the poor guy has had to come into an absolute mess and sign off cheques left, right and centre. Things are just taking time because as much as he’s a millionaire, there’s a lot to do but he’s got down to business and he’s left us to worry about what we do best and that’s football.

He’s in every day, he’s doing everything to get the best out of us because he’s investing a lot of money. He’s got a few young children and he wants to ensure they have a pathway to get into football so he’s investing in their future too – not just the club.

Kirsty is a great signing for us, there was some uncertainty about what was going on at the club so you worry about whether you can buy players. But it’s brilliant to have been able to bring a player like her to Notts County. She’s got plenty of talent, she’s always a nightmare to play against and she’ll fit in fine here because she’s got a few familiar faces around her already.

She hasn’t had an initiation or anything yet because the start of the season is still so far away! Once we’ve got our squad together we’ll have some team bonding sessions because we don’t want anybody to be left out, then we can have our events and I’m sure you’ll see on social media what we get up to!

La Manga reflection

I haven’t had any training sessions for a long time so I got so much out of going to La Manga with England. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the girls gave me a lot of good feedback, they said it looked as if I hadn’t been away at all, which is always really nice!

But a lot can change in six months, there’s new staff around and new training ideas so you have a lot to catch up on regarding what the girls have been doing at the end of last year. You want to get back in the loop both on and off the field to make sure I’m back up to speed with everything and spend some time with the girls.

It’s an exciting time for us, there are a lot of big games still coming up and it’s a good opportunity to keep testing our new formation and any new players, but first and foremost we want to win those games.

You can’t go out and do the same thing every game because it becomes predictable, you can’t play the same starting line-up time and time again so we have to keep people guessing and Mark [Sampson] can work out his best team. We’re building a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and maybe even a Plan D so we have that element of surprise, and over the next few months we need to make sure we’re the finished article come the Euros in July.

Now it’s about trying everything and finding out what works well and what doesn’t work, keeping the good stuff and pushing aside the stuff that doesn’t work and making things better. Mark said openly in our first meeting that every player would partake if possible and if everyone was fit ,so straight away we knew what was happening and it was a massive chance for some of the girls.

Anything can happen in tournament football, anyone can get selected so Mark took the chance to look at as many players as possible while he had the chance to pick more than 23 players. There are only so many camps left now for Mark to make those decisions and I’m sure over the next few months he’ll know a good 18, 19 of his squad and the rest will play for their spots in the FA WSL.

He’s that kind of guy, he knows what he wants to do, he’ll know how he wants to play against each team and who he wants to play. He plans far ahead but there’s still a chance for him to tinker and have a go at new things and see if they work.

You can never win as a manager, you play the same team and get a result then you never give the others a go. Then if you give others a go and they don’t perform you get criticism, but as long as Mark knows what he wants to do he doesn’t have to please everyone. He has to make sure we win the Euros and then all that goes before it gets dismissed.

Jill Scott’s 30th

I know most of the people so I had most of the running around to do, but it was a joint effort with the likes of Kaz Carney, Bass and co. It was nice to have some time to relax, I don’t think we once spoke about football. We just spoke about husbands, boyfriends, wives, girlfriends, partners, family, what are you doing now if you’re not playing football? etc.

So many people made an effort and Jill couldn’t believe how many people came, but as I said to her ‘I could invite 100 people but if nobody likes you nobody would turn up, they’ve turned up because they like you!’ Jill is very family orientated, as everyone can probably tell by her Instagram, so the main thing for me was her family. She’s lived so far from them like I have since she was a teenager, so we really wanted them all there.

We had chats with Nick [Cushing] and the Manchester City staff about getting the City lot there in good time, Mick Mulhern and the Sunderland lot were there. Rachel Yankey came up, Emily Westwood, Lindsay Johnson and co, it was a last-minute thing and we only had ten days to plan it so it was great to have so many people turn up on short notice. We could have invited another 100 but we wanted to keep it fairly intimate, as much as it was full of football people it wasn’t about football.

We had to delay and delay because City had a friendly, we were always talking to Nick and then the City kick-off got changed and I was like ‘I’m going to bloody kill Nick!’ It was a mad one to get Demi and Beatts and the other girls up, I think Steph was the last one in hurtling in at 100mph just before Jill got the surprise but after that it ran very smoothly!

We had the projector up with a load of old photos and it was just a really nice night.Jill keeps saying she doesn’t like parties, but I think she was happy in the end – sadly it’s my 30th next!

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

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