LUCY Watson is enjoying playing for Reds legend Neil Redfearn and would love to form an all-Barnsley frontline for England in the future with Bethany England.
Despite only turning 18 on Sunday, the striker from Royston is the leading scorer for Sheffield United women with five goals and the top assist-maker with two, as well as an England youth international. The Blades, managed by Barnsley FC hero Redfearn, are currently ninth in the WSL 2 – the second tier of English women’s football.
On Redfearn, Lucy said: “He’s great to work with. He understands you as a player because he was a player himself.
“You can tell he played at the top level with how he coaches, and he loves to demonstrate to us. He’s obviously a big name for what he did at Barnsley.”
Lucy started at Barnsley Ladies from under ten to under 13 level then moved to Doncaster Belles before joining the Blades. Another woman from the town, Bethany England, is in the England senior squad and a regular scorer for Chelsea in the Women’s Super League.
Former Holy Trinity School pupil Lucy said: “I look up to her.
“She’s the same position as me and I’ve watched her since I was younger.
“She’s done really well.
“I met her when I played for Barnsley Ladies and she did our presentation.
“I have her signature and a picture with her. Hopefully we’ll be playing together for England in a few more years.
“My aims are to play professionally in the top league and play senior football for England. I have a good foot in the door already and I will just keep working.”
Watson has also played for England under 19s this season, earning three caps last month. She said: “I have been in all the age groups since under 15s. We’re trying to get to the Euros next summer which would be great. I feel really proud every time I play for England. It’s better when my parents are there because they are the ones I’m doing it for.”
Lucy – who is studying sports coaching and development at Barnsley College – believes she is entering women’s football at a good time.
“The top leagues are on Sky Sports now, BBC and ITV regularly show games and all our games are on the FA Player.
“There is a lot more awareness now.
“When I was younger, I looked up to some players but didn’t know much about the leagues.
“Now, if you’re a young girl, you know a lot more about it.”
This is Lucy’s first season in front of fans.
“I am enjoying it more this season because I am playing more.
“I am top-scorer but it’s a long season and I want to stay consistent.
“The first season was hard because it was impacted by Covid but now I am playing every game, scoring and we have the fans back which is better.
“We play at Chesterfield’s ground and get a few hundred fans but we played at Bramall Lane once this season and got a record attendance of more than 4,000.”
Penistone Church won 6-0 at Charnock Ridgeway to stay top of Division Three of the Sheffield and Hallamshire League.
Worsbrough Bridge drew 3-3 at Mexborough Athletic in Division One.