Liver­pool cap­tain miss­ing train­ing for care home job

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Total Football - By Fiona Tomas

So­phie Bradley-Auck­land, the Liver­pool Women’s cap­tain, has re­vealed she “lost sleep” over her de­ci­sion to pri­ori­tise her job as a care home man­ager in­stead of re­turn­ing to team train­ing in the wake of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Liver­pool re­sumed full train­ing last week for the first time since be­ing rel­e­gated from the Women’s Su­per League, but Bradley-Auck­land has been ab­sent to en­sure the safety of 24 res­i­dents at Eden­hurst care home in Not­ting­ham.

The fam­ily-run busi­ness, which Bradley-Auck­land co-man­ages with her fa­ther, has re­mained Covid-free dur­ing the pan­demic and the 30-year-old has de­cided not to jeop­ar­dise that by re­turn­ing to a club en­vi­ron­ment yet. “Un­for­tu­nately, with the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, it’s made me have to make a de­ci­sion, one that’s been aw­ful, I’ve ac­tu­ally lost sleep about it,” Bradley-Auck­land told the club’s web­site. “I can’t re­turn to Liver­pool un­til a risk isn’t posed on the care home.

“My hap­pi­ness – and that’s what I call foot­ball, it’s my hap­pi­ness, it’s some­thing that I love to do – isn’t worth some­body’s life. It’s ac­tu­ally risk­ing some­body’s life and I have a duty of care.”

She told Liver­pool man­ager Vicky Jep­son her de­ci­sion di­rectly af­ter the club’s rel­e­ga­tion from the WSL was con­firmed in June, which she ad­mit­ted was “ter­ri­ble tim­ing”.

Bradley-Auck­land, who be­gan co-man­ag­ing the home af­ter a lengthy spell on the side­lines with a knee in­jury, added: “I still will be back at Liver­pool but un­for­tu­nately, at the mo­ment, it’s not possible for me to come.

“It’s been re­ally tough, but I know I’ve got the back­ing of my fam­ily. It was aw­ful, I’m not go­ing to lie and say it was an easy de­ci­sion.”

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