Player Profile: Carly Telford – A Safe Pair of Hands

Carley Tellford
Carly Telford for England. Credit | Getty Images
  • Full Name: Carly Mitchell Telford
  • DOB: 7 July 1987
  • Age: 33
  • Place of birth: Jesmond, England
  • Height: 5ft 9in (1.74m)
  • Current Squad: Chelsea WFC & England National Team
  • Playing Position: Goalkeeper

Carly Telford – Club Career 

Carly Telford signs for Chelsea
Carly Telford signs for Chelsea. Credit | Getty Images

In 2007, Carly joined Leeds United Ladies from relegated club Sunderland. At Leeds, after an impressive performance in Leeds’ 4-1 defeat to Arsenal, Carly was named player of the match in the 2008 FA Women’s Cup final. 

Telford was called into the England squad in the summer of 2010 because of an injury to Karen Bardsley before England’s World Cup qualifier vs Turkey in July of 2010. Matt Beard signed her ahead of the inaugural 2011 FA WSL season for Chelsea Ladies. lt was announced in October 2012 that Carly would join Australian Perth Glory club for the 2012-13 winter season.

In December 2013, Carly left Chelsea after three years, signing for Notts County ahead of the 2014 FA WSL season. There she was reunited with Rick Passmoor, her former Leeds coach, and she would have the opportunity to train with goalkeeping coach Kevin Pilkington. The decision by Chelsea coach Emma Hayes to hand Telford a free transfer left Carly feeling stunned and quite angry.

Ahead of the 2015 FA Women’s Cup Final, Carly was carrying a shoulder injury and Notts County were disappointed when The Football Association denied their request for dispensation to sign another goalkeeper. In the team’s 1-0 loss by Chelsea at Wembley Stadium, Carly recovered in order to play the game. In November 2015, she signed a two-year extension to her contract at Notts County.

In June 2016, Telford suffered an injury with torn ankle ligaments in a win over Doncaster Belles and she was ruled out for three months. Notts County moved quickly to sign Lizzie Durack as a replacement during this time and sadly Notts County Ladies folded in April 2017.

Carly Telford back with the Blues. Credit | Getty Images

In May 2017, Carly re-joined Chelsea after Notts County folded and after signing a short-term contract for the Spring Series, the experienced goalkeeper had previously affirmed her credentials to Emma Hayes, when she stood in for former Blue, Hedvig Lindahl, who was injured. After conceding only three times in the shortened league campaign, Carly helped Chelsea to win the spring series.

In February 2019 Carly signed an extension to her contract that would keep her at the club till 2021 and although she hasn’t played much this season with how Ann-Katrin Berger has been playing Carly is still a big part of the team and when called upon she has been strong in Chelsea’s goal.

Carly Telford – International Career

Carly Telford at home in the England squad.
Carly Telford at home in the England squad. Credit | Reuters

On the 11th of March 2007, Carly made her senior international debut as a substitute against Scotland, having previously played at the U17, U19, U21, and U23 levels. In May 2009, Carly was one of The Football Association’s first 17 female players to be given central contracts.

In May 2015, in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, hosted in Canada, Mark Sampson included Carly in his final squad. Eventually, England finished in third place, but Carly was upset that she was the only squad member not to play any minutes in the game.

In 2019, Carly played two of the three games against Brazil and Japan as part of the England team that won the SheBelieves Cup in the United States. Carly was then called up by Phil Neville to the 2019 World Cup squad later that year and sports Presenter Nicole Holliday revealed her name as part of England’s social-media team announcement.

Having been included in England squads without getting to play in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and UEFA Women’s Euro 2017, Carly finally got her first minutes at a major tournament on the 14th of June 2019, starting in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup game against Argentina in England’s second group game keeping a clean sheet. 


  • Quick thinking in crucial moments
  • Strong hands to make good saves
  • Good concentration in quiet parts of the game
  • Great ball distribution

Personal Life

At a young age, Carly’s introduction to football began after watching her dad play football every weekend. Carly’s dad always played football in the back garden with her and took her to watch games, where her love of football began.

Carly went to Tanfield School and was fortunate enough that she was allowed to play football with the boys by her headteacher and to no surprise, she soon became the school captain. When she played for Chester-le-street, Carly met Steph Houghton and Jill Scott at a young age, little did she know that she would play with them in major tournaments for England.


Carly is a serial winner
A serial winner and consumate professional. Credit | Getty Images

Notts County:

  • FA Cup runner up: 2014-15
  • FA Continental Tyres Cup runner up: 2015


  • FA WSL: 2017-18, 2019-2020
  • FA Spring Series: 2017
  • Football Association Community Shield: 2020
  • FA Cup: 2017-18
  • Football Association Continental Tyres Cup: 2019-2020


  • SheBelieves Cup: 2019

Read more Chelsea Women Player Profiles below:

Written by Meg Aherne @meggaherne

Edited by Jai Mcintosh @jjmcintosh5

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