CELEBS MAPOUT THE WAY AHEAD
WHILE England were picking up World Cup bronze in Canada and revelling in the unaccustomed spotlight, one player who could, and probably should, have been a part of those celebrations was at home continuing her rehabilitation from a serious knee injury. manager Rick Passmoor has contacted me almost every day, which shows how much he supports me.”
The England defender is currently reaping the benefits of the St George’s Park facilities, to aid her rehab, created by her membership of the PFA.
This, along with the support from the medical team at County, has created a light that is dimly shining at the end of the tunnel as Bradley looks to battle back for the 2016 season.
“I’m up at St George’s Park twice a week and its fantastic.The facilities are amazing,” she said.
“I’m currently in the middle of a six week programme, and on Tuesday I started running on the AlterG (antigravity treadmill), which was a big step forward. I didn’t want to get off.”
After two career-saving operations, Bradley would not be drawn on a return date. But, having seen teammate Ellen White return from a similar injury this year, she is confident of being back for the next FAWSL campaign and hopeful of an eventual England recall.
“Ellen is a great example of what hard work can achieve because she has done so well this year and I’m delighted for her,” she said.“Nobody is going to take football away from me.
“Hopefully, my performances will see me back for Notts County soon.
“Of course it is a dream to eventually get back into the England squad, but the girls did brilliantly out in Canada, so it won’t be easy.
“I’m taking it one step at a time.” THEWomen in Football group hosted a panel discussion on Thursday night at Charlton Athletic.
Women working in the football industry were invited to a lively debate focusing on pitchside roles.
Jacqui Oatley was host for the evening and, though the TV and radio presenter needs little introduction, the rest of the panel might.
She was joined by FA Cupwinning Chelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes, AFC Bournemouth academy physio Lizzie Sharp and referee Lucy Oliver.
Leicester City youth coach Annie Zaidi and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s director of employment, Claire Sullivan, completed the line-up.
Zaidi’s impressive CV includes being chair of the Black and Asian Coaches Association, while Lucy Oliver referees at National League level.
The coming together of people from a range of roles prompted discussions about challenges faced by women in football and, in turn, celebrated the range of achievements of those attending.
The biggest cheer was for Hayes who, as the only woman coach in WSL 1, is on the verge of winning the championship, to add to her FA Cup glory at Wembley.
Despite being in the minority in the sport, women take on a range of roles and Women in Football looks to actively increase numbers and remove discrimination at any level.
The focus of the two-hour event was on the challenges faced by medical staff, coaches, managers and match officials, but the organisation seeks to represent any role in football whether it is in the media, behind the scenes, or on the pitch.
ROAD TO RECOVERY: Sophie Bradley is working hard to overcome her serious knee injury INSPIRED: Sophie Bradley says team-mate Ellen White, left, is a great example for returning from injury stronger