With the FAWSL Spring season in full flow we caught up with long time Keeper Portal friend Carly Telford to find out about everything that has happened recently; from that horror injury – to Notts County folding out of the blue and then on to happier times back home at Chelsea Ladies as well as what the future might hold for Telford!
We usually catch up with you after much happier times, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been a bit of a crazy and frustrating 12 months for you, starting with that ankle ligament injury! Are you fully recovered now? How difficult was it being on the side-lines?
I’m now fully fit and loving every minute of being back on the pitch. I’ve had quite a few injuries but I think this was the hardest to overcome, mentally and physically. It wasn’t as though I wasn’t pre-pared for the difficulties of coming back from injury but it was more the lack of support from the club as we had no physio, with England having to step in and do what they could. Then I was ready to train in mid-end of November when everyone finished and again the club more or less shut down until pre-season started at the end of Jan. But I eventually got there, so here I am! All fit and well and looking forward to the summer ahead.
So, after just a few games back on the pitch, Notts County seemed to fold completely out of the blue after a mid-table finish in the top flight of women’s football in England – just 2 days before you took on Arsenal in the FAWSL spring season. Were you aware of any issues before this? Or was this just as out of the blue for you and the squad?
We knew things were tight and getting sorted at the club, but we just got on with things, new signings helped and the guys staying up all seemed to be going well. Then as you say, out of the blue we had no club! I’m sure you’ve read how it happened.
How did you find out about the decision to fold?
Thursday night we got a text saying training was cancelled and to be in for a meeting Friday morning instead, not ideal with a game on Sunday but we had Saturday to train to so not the end of the world. Then in we went with one of the chairman’s execs and a lady who dealt with finances (I think) to be told as of 4.30 Thursday (the day before) we had been effectively liquidated and no longer existed…. and that was it!
Wow! Did they give a reason for folding the club?
Nope, although he’s come out since and said about it not being financially viable.
What was going through your mind when you were told the news and what were you thinking in the following days?
I was just in shock, thinking what do I do? Will this effect England? etc etc
Do you think that other clubs are in danger of going the same way, or was this an isolated incident?
Unfortunately, we’re all at the mercy of the male teams and not many are separately invested in, but I’d like to think the FA won’t let this happen again and will help grow the female game so it can become financially viable and sustainable.
You were snapped up by Chelsea manager Emma Hayes on a short-term deal to cover injuries to Hedvig and Becky for the upcoming spring season within a couple of weeks of the news landing, how did this come about and how quickly was it agreed?
It came about pretty quick through different people, I didn’t know at the time the extent of Viggy’s or Becks’ injuries but the opportunity came around and made sense for us both to make it happen.
You’ve had some exciting games so far since your return including a thrilling London derby with Arsenal, how are you finding life back at your old stomping ground? Has much changed since you left in 2013?
Ha ha where do I start? Apart from Emma, a few staff members and players the club is completely different, so professional, full of talent and it’s a pretty amazing place to go to work to everyday! It’s an environment which makes you better and as a footballer that’s all you want.
Obviously, the current deal you’ve signed with Chelsea is only until the end of the spring season, have you got plans for what happens after that or any agreed deals?
Now that would be telling… for now; honestly nothing but the Euros is on the cards in the summer. Hopefully I do well enough at Chelsea and I put myself in a position to be offered something by someone after that 🙂
Thanks as always for taking the time to answer our questions Carly, we’re sure we’ll see you between the sticks for many seasons to come!