It’s not every day a player who has recently played in the Champions League final turns up at a junior football training session – but that is exactly what happened in West Kirby recently.
Chelsea’s Niamh Charles visited West Kirby United girls’ last Sunday and gave an inspiring team talk.
The 21-year old forward knows our part of the world well – she honed her skills in a boys team at West Kirby Wasps before a successful trial with Liverpool Ladies.
Coach Paul Wood told West Kirby Today: “Contact had been made with the club about Niamh potentially attending at some stage but it was an absolute surprise when she turned up.
“Having seen Niamh play in a Champions League Final very recently and then turning up at one of your training sessions was unbelievable.
“We introduced her to three different age groups of girls. With my 11 -13 year olds she told us that she started playing at four years old when there were very few opportunities for girls to play football.
“She also played for a girls team for 3 years, although she kept playing for her Wasps boys team throughout.”
Paul added: “She loved what she saw at Anglesey Road. I have no doubt that she would have loved being part of our current set up if it had been available to her when she was younger.
“Fortunately times have changed for the girls, for the better. The advice that she gave to the girls about developing their game was simply to keep enjoying your football and play as much as you can.
“Niamh was a real source of inspiration for both the girls and the coaches. It made me think that if Niamh can go so far in her career, why can’t some of our other really talented girls?”
Niamh, who was accompanied by her mum, donated lots of new and used football boots to the club.
West Kirby United girls’ training sessions run every Sunday between 9am and 10.15am at Anglesey Road Playing Fields, with teams ranging from under 6 to under 13. Coach Paul Wood can be contacted on 07802 497688 or by email at email@example.com