Above: Carly Telford in action for Chelsea. Photo: Sky Sports.
Carly Telford’s stellar Chelsea career comes to an end following five hugely successful years with Emma Hayes’ squad in her second spell at the club.
The Chelsea goalkeeper, who was named in the squad for the final time with the Blues yesterday against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Barclays Women’s Super League, will head to the United States to join San Diego Wave.
As one of the longest-serving players in the Chelsea squad, Telford departs having played a significant part in the club’s transformation into a professional outfit. Accolades from her tenure with Chelsea include 76 appearances, becoming champions of England four times including the Spring Series, and taking home both the FA Cup and Continental Cup twice and the Community Shield once, with the club continuing to be a growing force on the European stage.
The 34-year-old began her illustrious career 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 against Birmingham City which went down to the wire with penalties. Telford went on to gain experience further afield with a loan spell at Perth Glory in Australia but left at the end of 2013 to join Notts County.
Re-joining Chelsea in May 2017 having initially signed a short-term deal for the Spring Series, when she stood in for injured former Blue, Hedvig Lindahl, Telford helped the London side to take the trophy after conceding only three times in the competition. A new two-year contract followed with the experienced goalkeeper continuing to make a big contribution with a total of 10 appearances in all competitions and six clean sheets in her first full campaign since re-joining the club. Consistency continued into the 2018/19 season with 10 clean sheets out of 14 appearances, providing important competition for the goalkeeping position.
The number 28 extended her stay at Chelsea in February last year and as part of the new deal, she also took up part-time coaching, offering support to our Under-16 and Under-18 goalkeepers at Cobham. Since then, the senior team has gone on to secure the domestic quadruple and reached the final of the Champions League in Sweden for the first time in the club’s history.
Telford has also had a glittering international career to date, making her Lionesses debut in 2007, appearing in three World Cup squads, most recently at France 2019 where she featured in a 1-0 win over Argentina. She also stepped in against the USA in the World Cup semi-final. Telford was also selected for the 2017 European Championship squad and last year, was selected for Team GB, going on to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
On Telford’s Chelsea departure, Emma Hayes commented: “Carly has been a fantastic servant to the club across two different spells. A big character in the dressing room and a hugely valued member of our squad.
“We didn’t want to lose her, but we could not hold her back from taking this fantastic opportunity in the States. We wish Carly well in this next chapter of her career and she knows she’ll always be welcome back here any time.”