Women's football news
Sophie Perry, has vowed to put her best feet forward as Lewes FC Women’s exciting new signing (on loan for the rest of the season).
Sophie, who is, unusually, equally strong on both her left and right foot, joins Lewes from Brighton and Hove Albion. The defender has earned over 50 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Sophie said she wanted to play for Lewes FC Women because she knows the club well and has been impressed by the appointment of the new manager, Fran Alonso: “Living in Brighton, I know the history of Lewes and I have heard a lot about Fran. He has a great track record and is a great coach”.
She is also a fan of the club’s Equality FC initiative: “For Lewes to be the only club in the world to pay its men and women the same wage is sending out a message to everybody about Equality. It is fantastic.”
Sophie, who was born in 1986, grew up in Brighton and has played for Brighton, Chelsea, Millwall and Reading. She started playing football at Primary School: “I have always loved football. I started playing at Primary School with the boys and we played against other schools. I then went for trials with Hove Park Rangers in Year Six.”
In 2005 Perry started playing with the Rangers’ Girls and, later that year, she moved to Brighton and Hove Albion. From there, she went to Chelsea for 11 years and remained at the club until 2016. During this time she represented England in the under-23s, before choosing to play for the Republic of Ireland national side.
She made her Republic of Ireland debut at the 2012 Algarve Cup against Wales. She was also in the squad at the World University Games in 2013 and the 2014 Cyprus Cup Tournament. She described opting for Ireland as, “one of the best decisions I have ever made!” In 2016 the defender moved to Reading and returned to the Albion in 2017.
Describing her wing-back role at Lewes, she said: “It’s important to win your one v one battles and that you’re comfortable with playing out from the back to join in with the attack, and get up and down the pitch, to deliver crosses and goals. I want to ensure that the club has a really good end to the season and wins as many games as possible.”
The Manager, Fran Alonso, said he was delighted to have signed Sophie as she was number one on his list: “To be able to attract players of Sophie’s calibre to Lewes is a sign that Lewes FC Women is now a serious contender in Women’s Football. Sophie has won over 50 caps for Ireland and played in the highest tier of football, in what was formerly called WSL 1, and is now the Super League. Sophie is from Sussex, is a very experienced defender, has a great reputation and has played with some of the best clubs in the world. She is a true professional with a great skill-set. I love the fact that she is equally comfortable playing with either foot too”.
COME & WATCH THE ROOKS THIS SUNDAY: Lewes FC Women v London Bees, 2pm KO