FORMER Whitcliffe Mount pupil Mel Garside-Wight watched England’s 2015 World Cup campaign with great interest – and as a former international herself, she was delighted to see some of her ex-teammates achieve success.
“I played alongside Casey Stoney, Katy Chapman and Fara Williams with England and against many of the others in my time in the Women’s Premier League,” Mel told The Press.
“The win over Germany was particularly pleasing as I had played in one of those 21 previously unsuccessful attempts to beat them.
“We were desperately unlucky against Japan but you have to praise Mark Sampson for his work as coach. He had 23 players out in Canada and there was complete togetherness. Tactically he was brave in the way he changed the team to suit the situation - different systems for different matches.
“I played three times for England and I always felt part of the team, but under the previous manager I found that there was not the same unity as a complete squad. There was more emphasis on the 11 in the team and not the same flexibility.”
Mel, now 35, was brought up on the Foldings estate in Scholes and played her first senior game for Bradford City when she was only 12, and went on to play for Manchester City before returning to Bradford where she finished playing two years ago.
There will be one last run-out, however, when she turns out for an England Legends side against Sheffield FC to commemorate 20 years of Women’s World Cup football to raise money for charity.