Paige Walder: Progressing On And Off The Pitch

Impetus are proud to sponsor Paige Walder, midfielder for tier five London & South-East Regional Premier side Saltdean United and also the designer of all our site graphics. Almost three months into the new season, she touched base with Ben Gilby to update us on how things are going.

Above: Paige Walder in action for Saltdean United (left) against Ashford Town (Middx). Photo: @SaltdeanWomenFC

Last time we spoke to Paige she had just announced her return to football with Saltdean United. It’s been an experience that she has enjoyed hugely.

“Well, time flies when you’re having fun and I’ve had such an enjoyable experience so far with Saltdean. The girls are such a good bunch and we’ve become so close! I’ve settled in well on the pitch and linked up well with a few players that I’ve played alongside in the past. 

“Pre-season was great, I’d been off the pitch for a while so I needed a good pre-season to get back into the swing of things. I’ve found my rhythm now and I’m really enjoying myself.”

In terms of the aims that the club set themselves for the campaign, Paige outlined how those are going. “We’ve fallen short of our team goals as we’d aimed to be around the top of the table. However, I do think on the return fixtures we can pick up a lot of points that we’ve been unlucky not to have gained the first time round. Personally, I wanted to get as many assists as possible and I’ve managed to get a few from being on-set pieces. 

Artwork: Saltdean United FC

“Results-wise it’s been a difficult start for us, we’ve lost a few key players that has really knocked us, but luckily I’m injury-free, so I’m trying to carry the team through to Christmas when we hopefully get some depth back and can climb up the league table. The results don’t reflect the performances we’ve had, with a lot of close games against the top of the league teams where silly mistakes have let us down. But with the group being so solid, everybody is coming together to grow and learn. The positives have to be that although we’ve been hit hard with injuries and tough losses, the morale in the group is still so high and hopefully that will carry us in close contests in the future. 

“The quality of the division (London & South-East Premier) has actually really surprised me. There are a lot of players I recognise from playing against previously at a higher level and they stand out in this league.

“I haven’t been too surprised with the standout teams. We’d played a few in our mini spring season so I knew what to expect from the likes of Dartford and Ashford Town (Middx) and both teams have turned up and played as expected.” 

For Paige, the biggest challenge that she and the club have faced this season is the injuries to players who would otherwise be starters.

Above: Paige (left) pictured in training. Photo: @SaltdeanWomenFC

“We’re missing seven of our starting 11 players which has been difficult. At the beginning of the season with the quality we had, we were hoping to compete for the title and the teams around us agree that we were in our right to aim for that. I think now we have to try and compete to make the top four. 

“I’m pleased with my own form to a certain extent. I’m my own worst critic so although I have had good performances, I know I have more to give and I’m always pushing to do better. I’d like to have some stand out performances that people on the side-lines would be talking about, I’ll try save it for the game you come along to watch.”

Off the pitch, Paige is extremely busy with her graphic design work with Graphics by PW and also an exciting new venture. 

“I’ve recently created graphics for Caroline Weir and Alex Greenwood which has been very exciting. I’ve also just joined forces with EFG Management as their Media Executive. Together, we want to grow the Women’s game and I’ll definitely be looking to get Impetus involved in some way or another!” 

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