Getting to know: Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker has worked hard to where she is now. The Harlow goalkeeper found it hard to join a team as she grew up, starting in men’s football before finally joining the female ranks. “I’ve played for quite a few clubs. I started in boys football before moving onto junior girls football. My first ladies team was the old Harlow Town when I was 16 before moving onto Chelmsford City and Spurs but ended back at the reformed Harlow.”

Out of all the sides she played for, like any supporter, she couldn’t help by hold fond memories for the team closest to her heart. “Of course, I lived my dream playing for Spurs” she said. “A privilege for a huge Spurs fan and I was lucky to train and play with some great players and coaches.”

When Harlow Town were reformed ahead of the 2015/16 season, Walker was happy to join. The club started in the Essex County Women’s Football League where she helped the club achieve promotion to the Eastern Region Women’s Football League Division One within two-seasons before reaching the Premier Division the following season. For Sarah, the club had taken massive strides from where they started. “The team has evolved hugely. The original team was very young but hugely talented. We didn’t lose a game for 2 years but we’ve gained a lot more experience now. We are now competing at a competitive level now.”

Being in her 6th season with Harlow, she had plenty of games to choose from. While she enjoyed the finals, there was another occasion that stuck with from an earlier spell. “I’d say the finals are always memorable, especially when you win. While they are great, I also remember in one of the early seasons, we played Charlton Athletic in the cup and it was a great motivator to us for the future. We were playing a team like that, knowing that’s where Harlow wanted to go.”

The 2020/21 season had certainly been a tough one. The stop-start nature of the season meant it was hard to put together a good run of form. Despite that, Sarah was keen to get back to action. “It’s been up and down [the season]” she explained. “It’s been hard to find rhythm with the stopping and starting of games and training but we’ve had some great results and are raring to get back out there!”

Away from football, Sarah could be found in a classroom. Her job as a Primary School Teacher certainly gave her something to focus on other than football but she also indulged in other sports and watching the beautiful game. “I love taking part and watching any sport but I also enjoy watching my beloved Tottenham Hotspur.”

 

In all her years playing, Sarah had a vast catalogue of tough opponents to chose from as her toughest. Despite that, she stuck to one of the most recent games of the 2020/21 season. “I think the FA Cup [First Round Proper] game vs Ipswich Town this year was one of the toughest. They had so much quality across the pitch.”

While there is a family-feel at the Hawks, but Sarah was closer to two players that she had played with for a long time. “I really enjoy everyone’s company if I’m honest. There is a great team spirit but I’d say my two closest friends are Fran and Chloe.”

Every team had their ‘worst of’s’ and Sarah wasn’t afraid to point the finger, even if it was at herself. “I’m pretty high up that list [of worst losers]. Daisy is a great trainer and doesn’t want to lose! Hopefully we are all bad losers as you really need that to stay motivated and be successful.”

 

“Worst taste in music? Nashy [Amy Nash] is generally in charge of the changing room tunes, which can be suspect at times, but generally we all enjoy a sing song and we don’t mind what to!”

It was also key to point out those who were good at things and Walker knew who she’d pick for the most intelligent. “Liv [Olivia Steele] is a clever girl. She hides it well though!”

And your aspirations?

“My aspiration was always to be Tottenham’s number one. When I reached the Spurs first team, my mindset changed to playing for enjoyment and with people who I enjoy spending time with. Now it is to win trophies and finish my career strongly.”

 

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