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Interviews

Sophie Walton speaks

8 August 2020

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Experienced midfielder Sophie Walton is looking forward to stepping back up a level after the former FA Women's Super League midfielder signed from Nottingham Forest.

The 30-year-old spent several seasons in the top division with Notts County and played in the first Women's FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium back in 2015, before taking a step down to concentrate on her family, but she's delighted to join the Blades ahead of the new season.

"I'm over the moon to have got the deal done. It took me a while after having my first child to probably get back to the level I used to be at but I want to play at the highest level I can and I wanted and needed to push myself."

Walton is familiar with several of the current Blades squad having won the division back in 2018 with Doncaster Rovers Belles, and she says the feedback she got from some of her former team mates was influential in her decision to join the club.

"I only heard good things from last season and hopefully we can go one better this season. I know a few of the players. I've played with Leandra Little, Kasia Lipka and Jade Pennock with Belles. I like to get involved straight away and get to know people, but it always helps having a few familiar faces."

After spending 10 years playing in the top division with Leeds United and then Notts County from the start of the new FA WSL in 2011, Walton also represented the England youth teams and for both club and country played against some of the nation's top players.

After stepping away in 2016, Walton won promotion with the Belles before dropping down to the FA Women's National League to spend a year with Guiseley before last season joining Forest.

"I made the decision initially after having my son that I wasn't going to come back to football but I missed it too much. I went to the Belles and last year I had a really good year with Nottingham Forest and now I'm feeling really good, physically sharp and I'm really looking forward to this season."

Walton, like all her team mates, has returned to the training pitch in recent weeks after a long period without football and the midfielder says she will give it her all on the pitch to help the team succeed.

"It's nice to just be back in that kind of environment again. I managed to do a bit of individual training before we came back but it's always nice to be back out on the training pitch.

"I give 100% commitment. I like to get on the ball, I'm quite vocal and want to help other players along the way too. I keep things simple but ultimately I'm a winner, I'm not a very good loser which I suppose is a good thing but I just love to win and hopefully that will happen."

With the Blades set to kick-off their season with two tough games against potential promotion rivals in London City Lionesses and Leicester City, Walton believes fans are set for a hugely competitive season which will hopefully end with the team going one better than last season.

"I think this year will be the most competitive league so far, which is a good thing for the women's game. I think having the Championship at the standard it's going to be this season will be great for the game and I think there's going to be four or five teams capable of going up, but hopefully at the end of the season it's going to be us."


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