Hear from club legend Carly Telford about her best moment with the Blues over the past five years.
The Chelsea goalkeeper who was named in the squad for the final time with the Blues yesterday is departing the club to head to San Diego Wave and took a moment to sit down with us to talk about her fondest memories at the club and discuss the important relationships formed.
‘The opportunity came along very quickly and it’s one that I couldn’t turn down,' she says. 'Also, when you have the blessing from one of the best managers in the world at one of the best clubs in the world, it made the decision a little bit easier.
‘Saying the words out loud that I’m not going to stay here and finish my career here, even though the door probably will always be open for me, which is nice, is very emotional. I’m leaving some of my best friends and some of my best memories I’ve had in football and some of the best people I think I’ve met in football. It’s going to be a challenge where I’m going but at the same time I leave with some of the best memories I could ever ask for.’
Looking back on her greatest moment from the past five years, Telford recalls just how much her first FA Cup win meant to her.
‘I got to win an FA Cup at Wembley with my mum still being here. I think that being able to see her face before she left us was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in football. I’ll always be thankful for the girls and this club for being able to do that.
‘She got to hold the cup and stuff and you just think sometimes in football some things are given that you go to a good club and you’re going to automatically win things but it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of graft and a lot of sacrifice. To be able to do that and go on to do it multiple times, that’s one of the greatest honours for me to be part of this club.’
On the lifelong friendships that have been created over the years Telford commented.
‘These girls and the staff have been my family for five years and it sounds so cliché but we all spend so much more time with each other than we do with our actual families, so you have to lean on each other, you have to be there in the tough times and through Covid times where people have had nobody here and we’ve just had each other. I can’t thank the girls enough for supporting me in such a difficult time.
‘Some of the girls will be my family forever and I won’t ever lose contact with them. It will break my heart when I have to take my little placard out and walk out the door. But I know at the end of a phone, any one of them will be there for me and that’s ultimately such a blessing because they are such a fantastic group and genuinely some of the best people I’ve known.’
Reflecting on her important relationship with Emma Hayes who has been at the club with her for the past five years and how far the club has come in that time.
‘When you look at what she’s built and what she’s done. This building we weren’t even allowed in and now it’s our own. The legacy that she (Emma) has built here that will go on to forever be Chelsea Women’s Football Club will always have her name up in lights.
‘She’s again one of the best managers in the world and one of the best people in the world who has not just made me a better player, but a better person. I’ll miss her but I always know that I’ll leave always being a friend as well as her being my manager.’
Telford couldn’t leave Chelsea without some heartfelt words for our Blues fans whose support has never wavered.
‘Without the fans, what is a club? The loyalty, the dedication home or away, that group of fans that travel consistently and do it all off their own backs. To have that core of fans that seem to be at every game and maybe bring another person or another two people along, it’s something so special that makes us feel so special.
‘To every single one of you, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure.’