Whilst Paige Walder may be known to regular readers of Impetus for all of the high quality graphics and artwork she provides the site with via Graphics by PW, you might not know that she is also a footballer and recently joined Saltdean United of the London & SE Regional Premier (tier five). She spoke to Ben Gilby about her career and goals with the Sussex side.
It was Paige’s graphics business that we started talking about. Graphics by PW has provided artwork for Chelsea and England star Fran Kirby for a while and the business has really taken off now as she explains: “Graphics by PW has been going great thank you, working for Fran has brought in other high profile clients like Sam Kerr, Maren Mjelde and a GB athlete named Lauren Jones. With high-profile clients comes high-pressure, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it and hope to continue to grow.”
Apart from her graphic designing work, Paige has just announced a return to playing football. I wondered how that came about. “Well, for the last two years I’ve followed my partner as she plays professionally across Europe. When the pandemic first hit we left Italy and have been in England ever since. I’ve missed playing so much over the last few years and feel like now is the perfect time to dust my boots off and see if I’ve still got it.”
The club that Paige is joining are one who are hugely successful. “Saltdean United are a great club with big ambitions. The manager, Joe McTiffen actually coached me back in my teenage years. He’s asked me every year since he started the team to go and play for him and he’s finally got his way, persistence is key, haha. On a serious note, since starting in 2015 they have been promoted time after time and show no signs in stopping anytime soon and I’d love to be a part of that success.”
Paige has a strong history in the women’s game in Sussex, as she explained to me. “I started football at 12 years old but only began to take it seriously when I turned 16 and was scouted by Brighton and Hove Albion. After four seasons there and I stayed down south and joined Lewes whilst playing for the Sussex county team also.”
Since joining Saltdean United, due to the pandemic, Paige has only just been able to physically meet up with her team-mates.
“We’d been doing zoom HIIT sessions every week and had our first training session back on 29th March… I’m was 99% sure that our first session was going to include some sort of fitness testing which I was really excited about!”
We closed our chat by looking at what Paige’s immediate and longer term aims for her return to the sport: “A personal aim for me will be to get on the assist sheet as much as possible as a central midfielder. With regards to the team I would love to help them gain promotion up to the third tier of English football and with the squad we have I’ve got a great feeling that big things are going to happen for this club.”
One thing is for sure, Impetus will be following Paige’s progress closely…and readers will no doubt see more of her amazing artwork on our site in the very near future!