Fleetwood Town Community Sports College student Sophie Slater achieved an impressive milestone as she made the matchday squad for Everton Ladies on Wednesday evening, with the 16-year-old being an unused substitute in a 1-0 victory at West Ham United Ladies.
An appearance off the bench would have made Sophie the youngest ever player to represent Everton’s women’s team, while there may be further opportunities to come as a result of their injury-hit squad.
“On Sunday night my dad got an email to say that I’d been asked to travel down with the first team,” Sophie told Fleetwood’s website. “It’s a big achievement just to be asked. I have trained with the group a few times this season, but to get a call up is a moment I will never forget.
“Growing up I never really knew much about women’s football, then when I got to High School I started to hear about it a lot more.
“I started playing for my local women’s team when I was younger. I went down to County trials with Lancashire which saw me there for the next three years. During my second year, I trialled with Everton and got offered a contract. I have been brought up in a footballing family, and my dad was obsessed with it, so it’s all I’ve ever known really.”
As a first-year student on the study programme, Sophie admitted she has been impressed with the course and the opportunities that have come with it.
“I’m really enjoying it and I’m getting good grades so it is going really well,” she added. “I would definitely recommend the course to people that are just finishing high school and those that enjoy playing sport. This course is not limited, it can take you into different fields because you cover a wide range of topics, such as sport coaching, nutrition, fitness and psychology.
“The facilities at Poolfoot Farm are great and it gives the students the opportunity to train and learn vital skills in and outside of the classroom. It’s not often you get these opportunities and when you travel to the likes of Manchester City on matchdays, it’s something surreal.
“I’m excited to see what happens in the future here at Fleetwood, and with my career at Everton.”