Sarah feeling back ‘home’ with Glovers
MANCHESTER CITY are intent on vacuuming up the brightest talent in the country but for Sarah Wiltshire at least, there is no place quite like home.
The Wales international ticks all the boxes you would want from a top-flight forward: a wand of a left foot, an eye for a goal and the ability to play on the wings or in the hole.
It’s exactly why City came calling in January after the 24-year-old dazzled in her first season at Yeovil, having netted ten goals in 11 league games.
Indeed, Wiltshire was talked about in much the same breath as Beth Mead and Fran Kirby in WSL 2 last year – the former now WSL1’s top-scorer, the latter Chelsea’s record signing.
Ultimately she cut her time short at City over the mid-season break after struggling to cope away from her family base in Hertfordshire, returning to Yeovil.
But on reflection Wiltshire believes the ill-fated move has only made her stronger.
“I wasn’t playing at City and I was struggling away from home, I’d been away from my fiancée Steve for a long time too,” said Wiltshire.
“I wasn’t happy and I figured I wasn’t ever going to be happy while I was there – it was a tough decision for me to leave Yeovil in the first place.
“It was all very rushed when Manchester City came in for me and I had to make a decision quickly, and looking back I probably wasn’t 100 per cent ready to go.
“At the time I didn’t want to look back with any regrets but if I were to switch clubs again, I’d have to make sure it’s the right move.
“I still felt that I tried my best to break through at City and to be in that fully professional environment training every day was a good experience.
“I played one game against Sunderland, which I can look back on with pride as it was my first WSL 1 game, but everything happens for a reason.”
And there’s no reason why Wiltshire can’t return to the top tier with Yeovil, who are undergoing a revolution of their own after Jamie Sherwood took over in September last year.
Doncaster Rovers Belles and Reading may be closing in on WSL 2’s automatic promotion spots but if not for two recent draws against London Bees and Aston Villa, the Glovers would be in a three-horse race.
Wiltshire also worked with Sherwood at Cardiff City, and she sees no reason why her ambitions can’t be fulfilled at Yeovil.
“Jamie is a very positive coach who has been a big influence over the last couple of years,” added Wiltshire. “You can see since he took over last year, we’ve been creating more and more chances.
“Since coming back you can see how signing Corinne Yorston and Ann-Marie Heatherson have made a big difference, the team spirit is there – I still don’t think promotion is impossible to do this year.” NOTTS County goalkeeper Carly Telford admits the recent deluge of FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup fixtures came right at the perfect time for the club.
Since the Lady Pies lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea at Wembley Stadium last month, they have taken one point from two WSL 1 games, losing to bottom club Bristol Academy.
But the cup has given them the chance to rebuild their confidence, with County advancing from the group stage with a 100 per cent record, inflicting heavy defeats on Oxford, Aston Villa and Yeovil.
WSL 2 side Reading are next up and Telford admits the cup has been good for the squad.
“The cup has come at a really good time for us and it is good we have got our confidence back,” said the England stopper.
“It has come as a blessing as we have scored lots of goals and we are back to playing really good football.
“We have had a few loses in the season but now we can kick on.”