The Belles have continued to strengthen ahead of the new season with a renew deal for Rachel Newborough as well as bringing Sophie Walton to the Keepmoat.
At just 20, Northern Ireland international Rachel Newborough became the sixth Belle to sign on for the Spring Series and 2017-18 season. Although not heavily used during the 2016 season, Newborough showed strong signs in her seven outings for the Doncaster team last year, as well as a handful of appearances for Northern Ireland in Euro qualification.
After moving up for the Belles development team, Newborough was pleased with the new deal, expressing her “excitement” at signing on the dotted line, looking to kick on and “progress” even more with a view to fighting for a starting spot. Keen to praise manager, Emma Coates for her influence, a former full-back Coates was able to point out specific areas Newborough could improve.
Very much part of the furniture during her time at Notts County, Sophie Walton had been with the Lady Pies back when they were the Lady Imps and is well used to the pace of play in WSL. After taking the 2016 season out to have her first child, the dependable full-back found herself itching to get back to competitive football but without a club as Notts had opted not to extend her deal.
When approached by Coates and the Belles, Walton “jumped at the chance” to sign up, everything aligning perfectly making the move “a no-brainer.”
Good move for both
The move is another that’s mutually beneficial as Walton looks to get her game back to the level it was at before her pregnancy, regular training and competitive WSL football the perfect mix as she looks to add key strength and experience to the Belles, notably filing the need for a right-back.
Having known Coates for many years, back to when they played together, the move should be a seamless one for Walton who’s looking forward to working with her former teammate. The “family atmosphere” at the club a big draw for the defender, who’ll be able to bring her young son with her, the move ticking all the right boxes.
Stating that she wants to “help the team” and use her own experience to boost the side and help the younger players reach their potential.
As for the manager, Coates is “delighted” to have Walton on side, glad for her experience and ability on the pitch.