London City Lionesses recently announced the arrival of talented goalkeeper Sophie Hillyerd from West Ham United.
The young shot-stopper brings a wealth of experience and a passion for the game that is sure to bolster the Pride's defensive efforts.
In this exclusive interview, we sit down with the Englishwoman as she shares her initial impressions of life with London City, her journey in women's football, and some of her favourite moments on and off the pitch.
From her memorable debut in the Barclays Women's Super League to her love for exploring and cooking, get ready to dive into Hillyerd's world at the start of this new chapter in her career at Princes Park.
Sophie, welcome to London City! How has your first day at the Club been?
I’ve loved it so far and I really enjoyed my first day, the first session with Nicola [Williams] was really positive. I know [Hermione Cull] from a few years back and I enjoyed working with her in my first training session here.
Why did you decide to join London City from West Ham?
I spoke to Ron [Thompson], the head of recruitment, and he gave a really warm vibe about the place. He showed me the new facility at K Sports [Cobdown] and it demonstrates that the Club has real ambition to push on.
Tell us about your path to Princes Park...
I started at Bristol City, where I played for six years until I was 16 years old. From there, I made the move to Manchester United to play for the Under-21s. Since then, I have played for Charlton [Athletic] and West Ham.
So far, what has been your favourite moment in football?
I think I would have to stay my first start in the Women’s Super League, which was against Arsenal. It was definitely one of the best moments of my life. I think the first save was a massive moment for me, it was a Beth Mead shot – which came back off the advertising board and hit me in the head. There was another big save right at the end when I stopped Lina Hurtig to keep the score down.
What do you like to get up to in your downtime?
I really enjoy exploring, going on walks, and cooking – my favourite food is a roast dinner, but my favourite thing to cook is probably a pasta dish.