CELEBS MAPOUT THE WAY AHEAD

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Kieran Thievam By Sheri­dan Robins

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.

Ex­am­ple

“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.

PIC­TURE: The FA

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

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