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