Notts County: Sophie Bradley says give women's football a chance

Bradley relishing 'dream' relocation

England Ladies defender Sophie Bradley is convinced football fans will be shocked by the high standard of the women's game if they pay a visit to the newly formed Notts County Ladies.

Notts will play in the top tier of the restructured Women's Super League when the season gets under way in April.

And Nottingham-born Bradley has urged fans to give the game a fair chance.

"The level of women's football now is tremendous. Come and give it a shot," she told BBC East Midlands Today.

"I always say 'come down and watch it and you will be very surprised'. I will be shocked if you don't enjoy it.

"I am hoping with the link with Notts County we can get a few people to come down and get a good fanbase.

"It gives you that extra 10% of energy you didn't know you had when the crowd is going mad. Hopefully we can do Nottingham proud."

The Women's Super League has been expanded to two tiers of eight and 10 teams from 2014, an increase from the previous single division of eight.

Bradley, who has 24 England caps, is one of a core of players who played for Lincoln Ladies in the top flight last season and has stayed with the club following their relocation and rebranding.

Notts have already signed Canada star Desiree Scott, while England international trio Ellen White, Carly Telford and Jess Clarke have also signed deals.

And, although England skipper Casey Stoney and England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley have both left, New Zealand international defender Anna Green and Scotland defender Rachel Corsie have also joined and more new recruits are planned.

The club will be training full time this season and Bradley is excited by all aspects of the fresh start and new surroundings.

"With the WSL2 and it being in Nottingham it's massive," Bradley, 24, added. "We have had a couple of FA Cup finals held here at Forest's ground and to be part of Nottingham playing at Notts County is brilliant.

"Since I was 13 I have been travelling to every club I have played for. I thought to be in Nottingham was a dream but it's finally come true.

"In the WSL1 - and it will be the same in WSL2 - there are no easy games. It's good that women's football is improving so much.

"We have made loads of new signings - it's brilliant and to be training full time is massive. We are all buzzing and excited for it all to get started.

"We'll see what happens but we will obviously aim high."

British women's football reached a new peak of popularity during the London 2012 Olympic Games, with a crowd of more than 70,000 watching Team GB beat Brazil 1-0 at Wembley.

White, who has joined from Arsenal, believes the women's game has gone from strength to strength since and admits the chance to join Notts and train full time was too good to turn down.

"It's brilliant to be here and to be able to train every day is a privilege," she explained. "To play football every day is amazing I am really looking forward to the season.

"I have never had the chance to train every day within the team so I jumped at the opportunity. It was something I could not turn down.

White excited by Notts opportunity

"Over the last 10 to 15 years the amount of girls that are excited and are playing is unbelievable.

"It's grown and grown and the amount of funding and media coverage we are now getting is amazing and we are shocked as players. Hopefully it will continue to grow and we will get a really good crowd at Notts County."

Now, manager Rick Passmoor's plan is to build a sustainable club.

"We need to build foundations and establish a legacy," he said. "We have already attracted international players because they like what we are doing and what we are going to do.

"The league has snowballed since the success of the Olympic Games. We need make the most of that to ensure we succeed on and off the pitch."