Goalkeeper Carly Telford re-joined Chelsea in May 2017, having previously played for the Blues between 2011 and 2013, and provided important competition to Hedvig Lindahl when we won the WSL 1 title and Women's FA Cup in 2017/18.
The experienced goalkeeper had previously reiterated her credentials to Emma Hayes after signing a short-term deal for the Spring Series, when she stood in for the injured Lindahl and helped us to the trophy after conceding only three times in the shortened league campaign. A new two-year contract was more than merited.
Hayes, who had briefly worked with CT during the keeper’s previous spell with the club, had noticed a change in the player she had released four years earlier, saying: ‘She’s matured, her all-round game has developed and she is more ready to compete for a place in the Chelsea team now than she was last time around.’
Telford began her career with spells at Sunderland, in her native North-East, and Leeds United before signing for Chelsea in 2011. She captained the Blues in the 2012 FA Cup final, which we lost to Birmingham City on penalties and during her time with the club Telford also gained experience further afield during a loan spell with Australian club Perth Glory, but she left at the end of 2013 to join Notts County. The highlight of her time with the Lady Pies was playing in the first Women’s FA Cup final held at Wembley Stadium, when Notts were beaten by Chelsea.
England manager Phil Neville is certainly a fan, offering her plenty of opportunities in the early months of his reign - a welcome run for a player who made her debut for England in 2007. Telford has been part of two World Cup squads, most recently in 2015 when the Lionesses won a bronze medal in Canada, and she was also selected for the 2017 European Championship squad.
During her first full campaign back with the club, following Lindahl’s return to full fitness, Telford continued to make a big contribution and she made a total of 10 appearances in all competitions, keeping six clean sheets.