- Carly Telford chats about a #FIFAWWC debut she waited 12 years for
- She discusses how the recent death of her mother made it extra emotional
- Telford hails her Argentina counterpart Vanina Correa
By Laure James with England
Carly Telford made history on Friday night when she played her maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup™ match – 12 years after she was first part of an England squad at the tournament. The 31-year-old goalkeeper, who dedicated the emotional occasion to her late mother, helped England edge Argentina 1-0 to reach the Round of 16.
“I was ready for this, it wasn’t an overwhelming experience for me because I have been waiting so long for it, so I felt ready,” Telford told FIFA.com. “Obviously I wish my mum could have been there to see it. In all honesty she hated watching me play football, so even if she could be here I am not sure if she would have come to the stadium because she was always so nervous!
“But I know she would have been very proud, Fran’s [Kirby] mum would have been celebrating her birthday today, so it was a very emotional night for us both, I think.
“I couldn’t have been more prepared. All the girls were saying they were so happy for me and really proud, but it was a very important night, one I’ve been waiting so many years for, so it’s great to finally be able to say I’ve played at a World Cup, and kept a clean sheet.”
The Newcastle upon Tyne native went to China 2007 and Canada 2015, but didn’t see any playing time, being the only Lioness not to play a single minute at the latter. Injuries handicapped her path to international stardom, yet Telford never lost sight of her dream to play in a Women’s World Cup.
“I like to make it difficult!” she said. “By the age of 20 I had dislocated my shoulder and broken my collarbone, and was probably wondering why I decided to go into goal. But at the same time I wouldn’t change the path of my journey, because I have been able to do what I love for a very long time.
“I didn’t have a full-time goalkeeping coach until about two years ago. Even at Notts County, we had someone come in every now and then and the guy who did, believe it or not, was 77 years old, a bit of a legend for Sheffield United but he couldn’t kick a ball off the ground. And that’s me, playing at the top level in the WSL, playing at a World Cup, and I didn’t have a full-time coach.
“So it’s hard to take the criticism sometimes, because you know you’re not getting the same coaching as everyone else. I would like to think now that is changing and I don’t think we’ll be talking about goalkeepers in a negative light at all.”
Telford also had complimentary words for her counterpart Vanina Correa. The Argentina goalkeeper’s outstanding performance, including pushing a Nikita Parris penalty on to the post, earned her the VISA Player of the Match award.
“I thought Correa was fantastic tonight,” said Telford. “She played with real heart and bravery, and put women’s goalkeepers in the spotlight.”