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We talk to...Carla Ward (Sheffield FC)
 Women's Football News 29 May 2015
 
We talk to...Carla Ward (Sheffield FC) - 29 May 2015 - Women's Football NewsSheffield FC are on their way to the FA WSL following Sunday's win against Portsmouth in a thrilling Championship play-off decider. 
 
We talked to Sheffield captain Carla Ward, who was understandably delighted with the club's greatest ever achievement and paid a glowing tribute to her team mates: 
 
It was tense, it was nervous, but you got over the line. How does it feel to be a club that is now in the Super League?
It feels amazing to be honest, it is something the girls have worked so hard for in the last few years. This club has come from nothing 13 years ago to where it is now and it is an unbelievable story. The girls deserve it after three years on the bounce winning the league, they kept their focus, everyone stayed together and it's a job well done.

You have been at the club for a while now but there couldn't be a more appropriate goalscorer than Lisa Giampalma?
There was always going to be a fairytale story, whether it was for Portsmouth or us. Lisa has been at the club for about ten years now, it's her last season, so for her to score in the last few minutes is massive. I was so happy it was her as well.

When Lisa scored, the celebrations were quite incredible...
I think it's the fastest I've ever run to be fair! It was an unbelievable feeling.

The game was so tight and closely fought between two good sides, could you see it going to extra time?
Yes, with five or six minutes to go I said that to their centre half when the ball was out of play. She said that this is going to be so hard if someone loses, and I said that this is going to go the distance. But then, I said to my girls, one chance is all this is going to be - if we get that one chance in the last five minutes, we can win it, and lo and behold we did!

But after Emma Johnson went close in the second half, and a couple of other chances as well, was there a feeling that this might not be your day?
I did to be honest, I was thinking 'is this ever going to go in or will we have to settle for penalties', which I didn't really want to happen because we don't have the best record on penalties. Certainly amongst the girls, a lot of us have missed penalties in the last few years so I'm quite glad it didn't go to that.

It shouldn't be forgotten that Claire Wallhead made two fantastic saves at the other end, especially the point blank stop from Charley Wilson...
I said to Claire at the end that she has to take massive credit for where we are because this season, she has been by far our standout player. Everyone looks at Jodie Michalska because she scores the goals and is outstanding at that, but Claire has been our unsung hero, outstanding from start to finish and for me, player of the year by a country mile. She got dropped early on at the start of the season and it almost gave her the kick that she needed and since then, she has been head and shoulders above the rest.

Overall, has the league been a tougher one to win this year?
Yes it has, obviously Coventry have posed a big threat, Blackburn and Bradford have got stronger and all of those teams work hard and put you under. It's been difficult and we have had so many injuries during the season - to the public eye, it looks like it's been plain sailing but it hasn't, it's been really tough. Some weeks we've had five or six reserves in and they have been outstanding, a real credit to the club.

And plenty of celebrations ahead...
Yes - heaven help Sheffield!

 
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