first_img Pinterest Wales misses golden opportunity in game against England Women Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter Share via Email Women’s football Glasgow City’s Leanne Ross: ‘The girls now deserve to be paid’ Reuse this content Topics Read more With the German double winners, and Champions League finalists, interested it would have been easy to get distracted. Instead Earps finished the season with the most clean sheets in the league.The goalkeeper says that, after playing in Germany in the Champions League a few years ago, joining a German side became an ambition. “Maybe I didn’t anticipate it happening this early but it’s being something I’ve wanted to do and Wolfsburg are one of the best teams in the world.“The last two years at Reading have been really successful. I joined the team when they were newly promoted and we finished fourth last season. We’ve played some really nice football, but when this opportunity came along I was just really excited about it.“I want to be the best player I can possibly be and in order to do that you need to push yourself outside your comfort zone. At this stage of my career I felt it was time to do just that.”This is a new challenge. Earps has played at seven clubs in nine years in pursuit of first team football: “Age is a factor, particularly as a goalkeeper. The older you are the more experienced you are and it’s not easy as a young goalkeeper to get game time because experience and age is preferred, so I’ve tried to move around so I was playing.”This time it won’t be so simple. Wolfsburg stalwart Almuth Schult, two years older than Earps, has been with the German club for five years and will be difficult to budge from the starting line up. “She’s a very good goalkeeper,” says Earps. “I thought she played really well in the Champions League final. It’s going to be a great experience for us to go toe to toe. We’re excited to see how differently we work and to learn from each other.”While many of the players speak English, training is conducted in German so another challenge for Earps – the only English player on the team – is learning the language, something she says is vital for a goalkeeper: “You’re expected to communicate, you’re expected to organise, you have to dominate and dictate what you want.“That can be difficult in England let alone at a team that doesn’t communicate in your first language. At a new team you’ve got to tell people what to do and you don’t even know them yet . As a young player, it’s hard to tell older players what to do.” featurescenter_img Share on Twitter Marta gestures to the crowd at Brazil’s win over Japan. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images Earps should be back on the pitch within days and initial impressions of the German champions have been extremely positive: “The programme is really intense, there’s lots of things going on, it’s very competitive, it’s very thorough, they want to do things in the right way, they want to make sure they tick every box and that suits my mentality, the player I am and the player I want to be.”Talking points• North Carolina Courage won the first Women’s International Champions Cup with a 1-0 victory against Lyon. NCC beat PSG in their opening game before a goal from former Arsenal player Heather O’Reilly secured the trophy against the five-tome Champions League winners. Manchester City finished third thanks to some superb goalkeeping from Karen Barddsley in their 2-1 win over PSG. The win helped them bounce back from a 3-0 defeat to Lyon.• Having lost 3-1 to Australia in their Tournament of Nations opener, Brazil bounced back to secure a 2-1 win against Japan. Goals from mercurial Marta and Beatriz put the Brazilians in the driving seat before Sakaguchi added a consolation goal in injury time. The US beat Japan 4-2 in their opening fixture, an Alex Morgan hat trick – she now has 16 goals in her last 16 international appearances – and a goal from Megan Rapinoe securing the three points. They then salvaged a point against Australia, with a Lindsey Horan header cancelling out Chloe Logarzo’s first-half goal. Facebook Earps, right, pictured in 2015 alongside then Bristol Academy teammate Grace McCatty. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt Facebook Share on Facebook • After losing manager Neil Redfearn to Liverpool and having announced their withdrawal from the Women’s Championship following the withdrawal of a key sponsor, Doncaster Rovers Belles have announced their new management team. Development team manager Zoe Shaw has stepped up to head coach while coach Amy Buxton becomes her assistant.• Celtic have confirmed Motherwell manager Eddie Wolecki Black as their new head coach. The 54-year-old spent 14 years with Glasgow City, winning four leagues, four league cups and four Scottish cups.• Women’s football is increasingly attractive for sponsors. This week Barcelona revealed a new partnership with tool company Stanley while the Portuguese Football Federation announced a four year deal with BPI which will support both the men’s and women’s senior and under-21 sides, and the Women’s Premier League will be named Liga BPI. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Earps may have made her dream move, but she’s not had the dream start. It was widely reported that she was injured in her first week of training and, while Earps says it was not as bad as stated, she was overwhelmed by the heightened interest in her health, something that just does not hit the media’s radar in England: “It was mad,” she says. “My neighbours were coming over and saying: ‘Oh I hear you’ve hurt your foot, are you OK?’” Read more Having played with her brother’s side, Mary Earps went in search of a girls team once she was no longer allowed to play with the boys, it was there, in one of her first games, that she first stepped between the posts. She saved a penalty, and the gloves have not come off since.After playing her way around the top tier of the Women’s Super League, the 25-year-old has spent the past two seasons at Reading, helping the side to an impressive fourth-place finish last term. While the chance to continue at the Royals as they take their place in the new fully-professional WSL was tempting, once one of the biggest women’s football teams on the planet came calling – ahead of a World Cup year – it was impossible not to think again.“I was aware Wolfsburg were watching me for a few months but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get an offer,” says Earps. “I made it clear that my focus was at Reading and that if conversations were going to develop I’d be happy to discuss it at the end of the season.” Share on Messenger However rather than letting the short spell on the sidelines get her down, the keeper is using the time to find her feet living abroad: “I wanted to be in with the team straight away but it gives me an opportunity to get a feel for my environment, get used to the culture, my apartment, driving on the other side of the road and all those things. So I’m looking at the positives of it. I have time to get settled and then I can fully focus on the football, but I’m dying to kick a ball.”last_img

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