TRANSFER requests for a Liverpool star have been flatly rejected – because she can’t give up her day job!
Chester-based Cheryl Foster is Liverpool Ladies’ star forward and, with 13 goals to her name already this season, the PE teacher from Bishops’ High School has been in demand from rival clubs.
But Cheryl is settled in her teaching job and is happy turning out in the FA Women’s Premier League for the club she supported as a girl.
“I can’t move,” said the 28-year-old. “Bishops’ have been so good to me when I have been called up for international duty and needed time off. I am happy playing for Liverpool.”
Cheryl, from Llandudno, is also an established member of the Welsh national team.
“We have broken into the world’s top 50 this season and there are a couple of players, like our skipper, Jane Ludlow who plays for Arsenal, and myself who have helped the national team take a more professional approach,” said Cheryl.
The progress the Welsh team has made was underlined in November’s 1-1 draw with Finland, currently in the European top 12.
Cheryl, who with 48 caps is closing in on the Welsh Ladies appearance record of 51, has made great progress too. But says she wishes she was starting her career now, instead of 14 years ago.
“When I started kicking a ball with my dad, there was no structure and very little support for girls’ football,” she said.
“I loved watching John Barnes and I was just determined. I went from kicking a ball in the garden to being invited to join in the boys games at break-time in school.
“From there I got into Bangor City and played in their youth teams, eventually taking a place in their Centre of Excellence.”
Cheryl spent eight years at Bangor before Liverpool scouted her. For the last six years she has been turning out in the famous red jersey, training twice a week at Melwood and three times a week herself as she enters her peak years as a player.
“At Liverpool we get fantastic support,” said Cheryl. “We have kit sponsorship from adidas and Liverpool see us as part of the club, like the first team. They want to do things properly because we carry their name and they have responsibilities under their FA Charter agreement to develop the women’s game.”
Cheryl is also giving the next generation a helping hand.
“There is a much better structure now for girls football than there was when I started,” she said. “I am good because I worked hard but I’d like to be able to see how much better I could have been today.
“I do coach schools football and if I see a girl I think has something, from Bishops’ or any other school, I will suggest Liverpool has a look at them.”
Bishops’ High headmaster Justin Blakeborough said: “It is something special to have one of our team playing at the highest level. It opens the eyes of the pupils to what can be achieved. Cheryl really inspires our pupils and we are happy to support her.”