Following yesterday’s news that forward, Sophie Bell has joined the Mariners, we caught up with her for a Q&A.
What’s it like to join the club that you’ve supported since you were a kid?
“It’s quite surreal really! I've supported Town while living at all ends of this country and while living on another continent, watched us both win and lose in finals, owned multiple Harry Haddocks, followed the team away to places like Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and Kidderminster in the National League. But actually playing for them is something I hadn't had the opportunity to do until now”
Sophie, you have played at a high level in the women's football pyramid. What is it that has attracted you to Grimsby Town?
“I watched my first game, a 1-0 home win against Swindon Town when I was six.
“Since then they are the only team I've followed. I didn't have Sky TV as a kid so never saw the Premier League, so it was Grimsby Town that inspired me to play football. I'm grateful now to have the opportunity to hopefully try and inspire some other young girls to play and to do what I didn't get the chance to do earlier on in my career, play for and represent their hometown club”.
You've now spent a couple of weeks with us in pre-season training - what are your first impressions and are you feeling positive about the move?
“I'm definitely feeling positive about it. I want to be around people who are prepared to learn and prepared to work hard, but who also enjoy doing those things and who can have a laugh at the same time, and it’s definitely been like that so far”.
If you had to describe yourself, Sophie, what sort of a player are you and what are your strengths?
“Well, I think I'm probably best known for my love of running on the pitch, unfortunately, or maybe for playing a bizarre range of different positions. But in terms of Town players past and present, I'd like to think I have Craig Disley's will to win, and his competitiveness and desire to never give up. Harry Clifton's versatility and John McDermott's consistency”. Sophie smiled when adding:“And hopefully the ruthless finishing of Omar Bogle”.
Finally, Sophie, what are your hopes and ambitions now that you are at Town?
“As always, I want to enjoy playing and help others enjoy playing too. I want to continue learning and help others to learn, and I want to achieve the most that we can as a team and a club”.
We will have news of more new signings in the coming days as manager Dale Houlston looks to strengthen his team ahead of the new campaign.