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Jody Handley retires
 Women's Football News 6 May 2015
 
Jody Handley retires - 6 May 2015 - Women's Football NewsDoncaster Rovers Belles can confirm that Jody Handley has decided to retire from football. 
 
The attacker, who joined the club from Everton in January, has called time on an illustrious career spanning over two decades. After spells at Shrewsbury and Wolves early in her career, Handley's big break came in 1995 when she joined Liverpool Ladies. Whilst at The Reds, Jody participated in her first FA Women's Cup final aged 17.
 
After a spell in the USA and a return to Liverpool, Handley joined Everton Ladies for the first time in 2000, before joining the Belles in 2001. She scored twice on her debut and featured in another FA Women's Cup final, scoring the only goal as the Belles lost 2-1 to professional side Fulham.
 
A return to Everton came in 2004 as Handley enjoyed the best years of her career. In the 2007-08 season Handley was made captain, and led Everton to their first silverware in a decade as she put in a Player of the Match performance in the 1-0 Premier League Cup victory over Arsenal. Jody finally picked up an FA Cup winners medal in the 2009-10, as she captained the side and set up Natasha Dowie's goal in the final.
 
Handley enjoyed four more fruitful years at Everton before returning to the Belles early this year.
 
Throughout her career, Handley was a regular in the England set-up. She made her international debut in 2002 against Nigeria and grabbed her first goal for her country a year later against Russia. She travelled to the 2007 Women's World Cup in China and featured in England's final group game against Argentina. Jody ended her international career with 38 caps and six goals.
 
Commenting on her retirement, Handley told the Belles' website: "It has been an extremely tough decision for me to make to retire from the game after playing in the top flight for 20 years but after the recurrence of previous injuries throughout pre-season, I felt it was my body's way of telling me enough is enough."
 
"I signed for Doncaster at the beginning of the year with every intention of helping them to secure promotion back into the WSL 1 but unfortunately this wasn't to be the case. It was a pleasure to be a part of that famous 'Belles Family' ethos again and see so many dedicated individuals working towards the progression of the club despite limited financial reward."
 
"The attitude and desire of all the girls to training and playing was always a stand out feature during my time there and in Glen Harris, they have a great leader. I have every faith that the club will return to where they belong and be competing in the top division once again next season."
 
"Whilst playing for Doncaster Belles in 2002, I earned my first international call up and it was during my time at Belles that I felt I truly developed as a player. Playing alongside my favourite player from my childhood Kaz Walker will always hold a special place for me."
 
"I've been extremely lucky to have experienced many highs as a player over the years; captaining Everton to FA Cup and League Cup victories, playing in the UEFA Champions League and representing England in 3 major championships, the 2007 World Cup in China being a particular career highlight."
 
"Football has provided me with so many positive experiences and opportunities and in many ways has shaped the person I am today. I have also been fortunate to have shared many of these experiences with some of my best friends and for that I will always be grateful."
 
"I am currently studying to be a Physiotherapist through the support of the PFA so hopefully this will be an avenue back into football for me and I won't be away from the game for too long."
 
Everyone at Women's Soccer Scene would like to wish Jody a happy retirement and hope to see her again very soon.

 
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