Peskett: I Was Quite Shocked, It Was Amazing!
Friday, 11th Jun 2021 16:28
Winger Sophie Peskett admits she was quite shocked when the club offered her the chance to become Ipswich Town Women’s first ever professional player.
The 18-year-old has signed a two-year contract, the Blues having been aware that Women’s Super League sides were eyeing the England U19 international.
“Obviously it’s an amazing feeling, I can’t really put it into words. It’s just amazing, the feeling right now I can’t describe it,” Peskett said at a press conference this afternoon.
With regards to the Super League interest, she says it’s flattering and a fillip but there was never any danger of her leaving the Blues.
“It’s nice, it’s motivating to get that recognition but I think it was always a no-brainer to stay at Ipswich,” she said.
“All the support I have from all the staff, players, the relationships I’ve formed in the last two years, it wasn’t too much of a hard decision for me to make.”
She admits the offer of pro terms came as a great surprise: “When I was told about it, I was quite shocked, it was amazing. It’s really nice to see the ambition at the club and what they’re willing to put into it.”
Peskett says she doesn’t have an agent with her mum and dad helping to negotiate the deal along with her team manager: “No, me and my parents, and Joe [Sheehan] would help with things like that.”
She knows she’s in a fortunate position to be able to put football first ahead of outside work commitments.
“That’s really good because I know there are some players in previous years who have had to make sacrifices, not be at training or not be at a game because of a job that in some ways can be more important,” she said.
“So it’s really nice to not have to worry about that side of it and I can just focus on my football and just keep getting better.”
She added: “My whole life I’ve made sacrifices where I’ve done it off my own bat because I love it. It’s obviously going to be very helpful, it’s going to help me with my studies next year, going to university. It’s going to be really helpful with that.”
But she says her new status won’t alter her outlook significantly: “I don’t think it changes too much because I’ve always wanted to have a professional attitude towards it anyway.
“I just helps to support what I’m trying to do and just develop me as a player, physically, mentally, technically, everything.”
Peskett says she views herself as a role model for girls aspiring to make a career in football.
“I guess so,” she reflected. “I think as much as I can next year I want to help out doing coaching and things like that with the Community Trust to support that side and be a role model to young players who are getting better. I think being a role model is what I want to do.”
Peskett, who has scored 16 goals in 26 games for the Blues, joined the club aged 16 in 2019 with plenty having happened in that time, although with both her seasons with the Tractor Girls having been curtailed and ultimately declared null and void due to the pandemic.
“I haven’t been here that long but we’ve done so well as a team and so much has happened in the last two years where it feels so surreal but it’s a really good way to start off what we’re trying to do at the club,” she continued.
The disappointments of those campaigns was swept away when it was confirmed that the Tractor Girls had been successful in their application to be promoted to FA Women's National League Southern Premier Division, the third tier of women's football, earlier this month.
“We all were quite confident but I didn’t want to be too confident and get my hopes up,” she said. “It was a bit nervy going into it but once we found out it was amazing and we’re all just so excited for next season now.
“We’re just looking to perform as best we can as a team. And from the scores we’ve had in the past against teams in the league above we’ve done really well, so we’re all really looking forward to seeing how we get on against them.”
With the takeover, positive developments on the men's side of the club, promotion for the women's team and now her historic contract, Peskett says Town is a great place to be at present.
“So much is going on at the moment,” she said. “And just the feel around it is just amazing, being in the environment is so surreal. I’m loving it.”
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