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Everton defender Lindsay Johnson has announced she will retire from football at the end of today's game against Oxford United.
The 35-year old, who joined the Blues from Liverpool in 2003, will call time on her career after 15 years at the top of the domestic game in England and says that she feels the time is right to step away.
"It's come round quite quick really, even though I've been here nearly 13 years now," she said. "I'm really sad, but I think it's the right time. I wanted to stay with the Club this season after we got relegated as I wanted to try and get us back up at the first time of asking, but it wasn't to be.
"I think it's time now there is a real shuffle about in the squad and I think me stepping away will help that. I've got every confidence that Everton will get back up next season."
Johno, as she is known to her team mates, has created numerous memories during her time with the Blue Girls, stating the FA Cup win in 2010 as one of the best. She also believes the Club has plenty of potential and will be back up at the top of English football in the coming years.
"There have been plenty of highs over the years," she recalled. "The FA Cup win against Arsenal in 2010 is a massive high after beating them in extra time. The League Cup win against Arsenal is another high as well."
"I've got really good memories of all of our Champions League trips, which are a few years ago now but we've still got to FA Cup finals in the past few seasons.
"We didn't quite get the result we wanted, but this Club has got loads of potential and I think we will do well in the future. I've got loads of high, some lows as well and they'll all stick with me."
With Lindsay bowing out of the game today, she says she will take some time off and have a few months to herself and is unsure whether a future job in football will follow, but isn't ruling it out completely.
"I'm not entirely sure what my future holds at the moment in terms of staying in football. I've got a full time job, so that's taking a lot of time up. I'm going to take some time off and have a few months to myself."
"I love Everton. I've played for Everton for so long that if there is something for me down the line to help the club get back up and stay there, it would be something that I could consider.
"That's where Everton belongs and it's really sad that we're in this position. I do think that with the right people involved, and the right girls involved, that we'll get back to WSL1."
With a career starting in 1991 in her home town of Hartlepool aged 11, she went on to achieve great success domestically, as well as 43 caps for England, and Johno states she has been privileged to play with fellow squad members along the way with all of them creating fond memories of her time in football.
"The girls I've played with over my time at Everton have been fantastic and some have been top class footballers - some are still playing and some have retired. I've got some really fond memories of them times.
"I feel privileged to have played with so many top class players, but even more so that I have been able to play with team mates who are also my best friends. To share those experiences with my best mates, I'm very lucky for that."
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