Steggles so proud as daughter Charlotte steps out for England
GEDLING schoolgirl Charlotte Steggles is following in the footsteps of England defender Sophie Bradley – in more ways than one.
They both started out at Stanhope School and then Gedling School.
Bradley, 23, is now a regular in the full England Ladies team, while Steggles recently made her debut for the England U15 schools team that lost 3-1 to Scotland.
Bradley, already capped 20 times, is in the squad for the friendly with Olympic bronze medallists Canada, in Rotherham, on Sunday, April 7.
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Steggles flies out from Birmingham on April 1 for a tournament in Ireland. On April 20 she hopes to be in the side for the return with Scotland, which may be played at Hampden Park.
Charlotte's dad, Carl, who was a well-known keeper with the likes of Hucknall Town, Arnold and Gedling Town before he broke a leg, is understandably proud of his daughter's England selection.
"Fortunately, she is sensible girl with her feet on the ground," he said.
"She knows what she wants to do and realises there is a lot of hard work ahead of her.
"She has done really well to get this far so quickly and we are tremendously proud of her."
Charlotte played for Gedling Town U9s, when her dad was manager. She lined-up alongside her brother Jack, who captained the side and was a regular scorer until he broke his ankle.
"She was the only girl in the team, but we were only allowed to play her in friendlies," said Steggles. "She could certainly hold her own against the lads. She was not scared to tackle or head the ball.
"I suppose she was a bit of a tom boy. She was actually more interested in football than Jack, who would get bored with watching after a few minutes.
"She started with Netherfield Boys U8, who played her in goal. When we took her to Radcliffe, Kate Tinsley got her into the Forest centre of excellence, but she now plays for Leicester City.
"It is a shame because, obviously, we would like her to play for Forest. We sometimes go down to watch them at Carlton."
Charlotte trains at Leicester twice a week, which means a lot of dashing about for the Steggles family.
"We are all over the place with her," said Carl. "On Monday and Tuesday she gets home from school, does a bit of homework and then it's down the M1 for training from 7.30-9.30. By the time we get home it is time for bed.
"On Wednesday night she goes swimming and Thursday she is in the gym.
"At the moment she is shattered after playing on the new indoor pitch in Burton.
"I know I'm biased, but I thought she did very well against the Scots, who were more experienced.
"I was chuffed to bits when she ran out in the England shirt. My wife starting crying so I told her to behave herself but when the National anthem started I couldn't help myself.
If people haven't watched ladies football they should give it a go.
"In fact I prefer to watch the girls U9 play rather than the boys. The girls think about the game more while the boys reply on the big kick and who is fastest up front.
"I think local football was better in my day. There were some superb players.
"I remember Dennis Jenas at Arnold – his lad used to fetch the ball for me. And look at him now!
"There were the likes of Graham Harrod, Steve Hare, Nigel Bailey and Vince Duffy, all quality players.
"The standard was so good that professionals like Kenny Burns, Trevor Christie and Mick Vinter played. I've got some great memories."