Tag Archives: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies

Sarah Wiltshire

Mum’s the word as Wiltshire juggles football and parenthood

The miracle of childbirth is a life-changing experience for any woman, and since having her first child, Sarah Wiltshire is loving life on and off the field.

The Tottenham Hotspur Ladies forward described how she manages to balance a life full of scoring goals alongside looking after her pride and joy.

Alexa-Rose Edwards was born in February 2017 whilst the now 26-year-old was on the books at  FA WSL side Yeovil Town Ladies before taking a break from football 13 weeks into her pregnancy.

So how has having a baby changed life for the Welsh international?

“She has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was of course hard finding my feet again, but she’s almost one now so I should be back to my old self soon,” she said.

“Your body goes through so many changes, and then you have a little baby to look after. It’s not always easy but it’s definitely worth it”.

A speedy comeback

Wiltshire’s rapid return to football after childbirth saw her make her first appearance for Cambridge United (on loan from Yeovil Ladies) less than seven weeks later, before returning to Yeovil in April 2017.

“She has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me” – Sarah Wiltshire

“I never really set a target for when to come back. I was lucky and had a natural birth, she was also well and healthy which set me on my way,” she explained.

“I managed to keep fit whilst pregnant. I trained lightly up until around 35 weeks, then I just walked and swam up until the due date which she was born on.”

She believes Jamie Sherwood, the Yeovil Town manager during her time at the club, was a prominent figure in her speedy comeback.

“Jamie was very supportive, he was the one who wanted me to return to Yeovil straight away to play in the top division. It was then time to think about what was best for my family and that’s when Spurs came along.”

Wiltshire’s move away from Yeovil was largely down to logistics for her family, and she is now a regular starter for the WSL2 side, who currently sit sixth in the league.

Childhood dream

A lifelong Tottenham supporter, Wiltshire jumped at the chance of pulling on the Lilywhites’ shirt. Since moving to the North London club, she hasn’t looked back, and is relishing her football more than ever.

“I’m really enjoying being at Tottenham, especially as it’s the club I’ve supported since I was a little girl. It’s only 20 minutes to get to training too, so it’s more than the right fit for me,” she said.

“I’d love to stay here until I can’t play anymore. I want to help them get to the top level and be part of the squad for as long as possible. It’s probably the best team I’ve ever played for in terms of staff and players.”

Wiltshire was one of the prominent figures in Yeovil Town Ladies’ promotion to WSL 1 last season, with her being the top scorer in WSL 2 at the time she stopped playing towards the end of the year.

Family pride

Wiltshire with her daughter Alexa-Rose

She recalled her first Mother’s Day experience last year, a special occasion where Alexa-Rose watched alongside Sarah’s mum to see her in action for Cambridge.

“I think it still hadn’t sunk in that I was a mother, it surprised me getting my own Mother’s Day card! It was great having them both there to watch,” she said.

So, what are the key changes she has had to make to her life since the arrival of Alexa-Rose?

“Alexa has pretty much changed everything for me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I certainly don’t get as much sleep and my back hurts from carrying her, but you adapt,” she laughed.

“I have such a great amount of family support, so there are plenty of babysitters on hand for when I’m training or playing. Anything in between is mummy-daughter time”.

“If I feel down about football, she’s there to come home to. I’m never unhappy for long”

A new addition for Wiltshire is the fact she now always someone there to keep her happy for when things don’t go right on the field.

“I still have the same amount of motivation, I just love football. The only real change is if I feel down about football, she’s there to come home to. I’m never unhappy for long,” she said.

For Wiltshire, like many others, becoming a mum has added a whole new dimension to her life.

Time will tell whether her daughter inherits her love of the beautiful game, but, who knows, we may see another Wiltshire scoring goals in the future…

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sawiltshire7 to follow her journey through football and motherhood.

Late goals see Spurs Ladies slump to Cup defeat against Brighton

Tottenham Ladies suffered disappointment in their latest WSL Continental Tyres Cup Group Two game as they lost 4-1 at home to League Two rivals Brighton.

In an exciting game at Cheshunt FC, the hosts started brightly, and took a deserved lead on 20 minutes when Bianca Baptiste was one on one with Brighton keeper Lucy Gillett and put the ball into the bottom left corner.

But rather than giving Spurs confidence, being in front seemed to confuse them, and Brighton soon equalised through Lucy Somes, after Spurs keeper Toni-Anne Wayne failed to hold onto a Sophie Perry free kick.

Only a few minutes after the goal, there was an almost the same situation and opportunity for Brighton, but this time Renee Hector was the one to rescue the Spurs.

She stopped the ball on the line and was able to clear it into the opposition’s half where Baptiste quickly turned defence into attack and went close to making it 2-1.

Ten minutes before half-time, Tottenham found themselves behind after some disorganisation in their own box, with Seagulls No.11 Fliss Gibbons beating keeper Wayne with a nice header.

‘Individual errors’

The second half was evenly contested, with both sides having chances, until two goals in the final six minutes of the match sealed Brighton’s win.

Brighton had clearly done plenty of work on their free kicks in training, and substitute Ini Utong, who had only been on the pitch for 10 minutes, was able to slide the ball in to make it 3-1.

In the last minute of the game, Utong struck a beautiful volley to notch her second goal, giving Wayne absolutely no chance.

Spurs manager Karen Hills was left to lament ”individual errors”. She said: “That was our problem in this match.”

She singled out her goalkeeper, adding: “It wasn’t Tori-Anne Wayne’s best match. But at the end of the day she has been one of best players for the last two seasons. Everybody can have a bad day sometimes.

‘Tough games’

‘We weren’t completely out of the race, we started well and made the opening goal, but we were just not able to pursue this.

“One of the reasons for that is we had two tough games this week, in the league against Watford Ladies where we drew 1-1, and in the Cup game where we beat Yeovil  2-1.

‘We were unfortunate today, but this outcome does not reflect how we played and who we are.

“I think we did dominate in certain areas of the pitch. And obviously going 1-0 up you would bet us to do okay considering how we played Yeovil this week.

“We are disappointed but that is football.”

Spurs’ next opponent in the Continental Cup is Chelsea away on December 6th, but for Hill and her team the focus is now on next week’s League 2 game against Doncaster. Spurs are currently fifth in the table, with the Belles in second place.