Ever­ton's Paige gets call to do Ital­ian job

FARA WIL­LIAMS IN­TER­VIEW IN­SIDE

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Paddy von Behr

PAIGE WIL­LIAMS is ready to write a new chap­ter in her fledg­ling ca­reer af­ter an un­ex­pected trip to Italy came out of the blue.

By the 20-year-old left-back’s own ad­mis­sion, this past sea­son with Ever­ton was a bit­ter dis­ap­point­ment.

A third-place fin­ish in FA WSL 2 – 15 points adrift from the top two – en­sured the Tof­fees, who dropped down in 2014, will spend an­other sea­son in the sec­ond tier.

Frus­tra­tion

Wil­liams, how­ever, didn’t have to dwell too long on the frus­tra­tion, with Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter-fi­nal­ists Brescia in the mar­ket for a de­fender and her name on the short­list.

She got the gig and the full-back, who has been at Ever­ton since the age of 14, flew out on Fri­day to link up with her new team­mates.

“Go­ing abroad is some­thing I have al­ways wanted to do and it gives me an op­por­tu­nity to train ev­ery day through the win­ter,” she said.“It is a chance to open new doors and ex­plore a bit.

“I think this was a sea­son of get­ting used to things and, hope­fully, Ever­ton are go­ing to bounce back next year. It is dif­fer­ent to WSL 1 and I think that ex­pe­ri­ence will serve them well.

“It is prob­a­bly one of the most frus­trat­ing sea­sons I have ever had. We had too many draws and our good per­for­mances came too late in the sea­son.

“But it does give me a lot of con­fi­dence that, af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son, some­thing like this can hap­pen.

“I think it is just for the win­ter, but I can’t say I will definitely be back next sum­mer. I am just look­ing to de­velop as a player.”

It might ap­pear an in­ter­est­ing quirk of fate that Brescia would come call­ing. Af­ter all, they are the side that knocked Ever­ton’s Mersey­side ri­vals, Liver­pool, out of the Cham­pi­ons League last month.

That’s the rea­son, it turns out, why Wil­liams was on the Ital­ian side’s radar in the first place. “Brescia were over here for the Cham­pi­ons League, play­ing Liver­pool,” she said.“A few peo­ple got talk­ing and it came about they were in need of a de­fender. “I went over last week for a trial. That was my first time in Italy. I was quite busy train­ing, but I got to go out a lit­tle bit on the last night and have a look around.

“I just need to learn the lan­guage now, but there are a few girls who speak flu­ent English.

“I have caught a few of their games and they are a really ex­cit­ing team. I want to get in there straight away. It is just a case of whether I’m reg­is­tered or not.”

Ex­cit­ing

If she is able to fea­ture straight away, a Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal could be on the cards af­ter Brescia knocked out Dan­ish side For­tuna Hjør­ring this week in the round of 16.

While Wil­liams has swapped WSL 2 for Europe’s elite, she won’t forget her club, friends and fam­ily back home.

She added: “I have been check­ing the weather over there and it’s not much bet­ter! I am go­ing to miss the team. I will miss home but I’m ready – more than ready – to fly the nest.”

PIC­TURE: The FA

TURN­ING THE PAIGE: Paige Wil­liams is look­ing for­ward to her Ital­ian ad­ven­ture fol­low­ing her time in ac­tion for Ever­ton, inset

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