City sign­ing Lavelle sheds a tear for English coach who was her in­spi­ra­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Molly McEl­wee

As Rose Lavelle’s first Manch­ester City press con­fer­ence drew to a close, she spent a mo­ment of emo­tional re­flec­tion when asked about the English coach she cred­its with mak­ing her the player she is to­day.

“Oh, I’m go­ing to get teary-eyed,” Lavelle said, be­fore talk­ing about her child­hood coach in the United States, for­mer Bris­tol City player Neil Brad­ford, who died of cancer four years ago.

“I’ve said this be­fore, but when I was grow­ing up he would al­ways say that I was go­ing to play for Eng­land some day. I couldn’t play for Eng­land, but it seems kind of fit­ting that I’m play­ing in Eng­land.

“I ac­tu­ally mes­saged his par­ents the other day, be­fore it all got re­leased, just to let them know, and they were su­per ex­cited. I hope he’s proud.”

Brad­ford’s fam­ily were privy to early knowl­edge of one of the big­gest sign­ings in the Women’s Su­per League, be­fore 25-year-old Lavelle was an­nounced as the third sum­mer ad­di­tion to City’s squad on Tues­day.

Lavelle was the break­out US star at last year’s World Cup, scor­ing in their 2-0 vic­tory over Hol­land in the fi­nal. Pre­vi­ously at the Wash­ing­ton Spirit, in the Na­tional Women’s Soc­cer League, this is Lavelle’s first move abroad and one she has been con­tem­plat­ing since last year.

She told re­porters yes­ter­day that the tim­ing was also partly in­flu­enced by the coron­avirus cri­sis, which caused the Olympics to be postponed and put the US league in limbo, fol­low­ing the cul­mi­na­tion of its short­ened cup-for­mat sea­son last month.

“Af­ter the [Chal­lenge Cup] tour­na­ment I wanted to see what was go­ing on with the NWSL, but ob­vi­ously with the un­cer­tainty … I knew at some point that I wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence go­ing over­seas, I just didn’t re­ally know when. Then this op­por­tu­nity with City came up and it felt like a great time to go. But – pan­demic or not – Man City is a great club to be at, so it was an op­por­tu­nity I didn’t want to pass up.

“The club is one of the best in the world and I think the re­sources they put on men’s and women’s [teams] was some­thing that defi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.