- Full name: Sophie Ingle
- DOB: 2 September 1991
- Age: 29
- Place of birth: Llandough, Penarth, Wales
- Height: 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)
- Current Squad: Chelsea WFC and Wales National Team
- Position(s): Defender / Midfielder
Sophie Ingle: Early Career
Sophie started her football career playing with the Vale Wanderers boys’ team. Rules stopped her from playing with the boys’ team above the age of 12, despite Sophie making an appeal to the Football Association of Wales (FAW). Sophie spent a year away from football and then had short spells with the girls’ team of Vale Wanderers and Dinas Powys Ladies. Following this, Sophie then moved to play Cardiff City Ladies as a teenager. After a period in the reserves team, Sophie broke into Cardiff’s FA Women’s Premier League team during the season of 2007/08. After winning the Welsh Cup twice with Cardiff, Sophie signed for Chelsea Ladies ahead of the 2012 WSL campaign.
Chelsea, Bristol City and Liverpool
Chelsea’s manager at the time Matt Beard played Sophie as a central defender and praised her impact after Chelsea’s 2012 FA Women’s Cup Final defeat to Birmingham:
“Sophie Ingle, we initially brought in as a left-back, but you can see from her quality on the ball and distribution and reading of the game is good as well, she has created a few goals for us with balls in behind which something we haven’t had before.” Sophie has played in the central defender role for Chelsea recently when called upon.Matt Beard
In February 2014, Sophie left Chelsea and moved closer to her home by joining the Bristol Academy. She rose to Captain the Vixens, but the club was relegated to the 2015 season. Sophie became a target for many other clubs and which she then decided to join Liverpool in December 2015. When Sophie was playing for Liverpool, this is when she was named Wales captain.
Sophie Ingle: Return to Chelsea
Sophie returned to Chelsea in 2018, signing a two-year contract. Bethany England was a part of the influence for Sophie to return back to Chelsea. The striker spoke to Sophie Ingle at the Merseyside club during her loan spell there and persuaded her to consider returning to London. Emma Hayes was incredibly happy to be able to bring Sophie back to the club knowing what a key player she is and what she could bring into the team.
In 2020, her Chelsea goal against Arsenal was nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award as she won a domestic double with the Blues. In January 2021, Sophie Ingle signed another new contract at Chelsea. This will keep her at Chelsea until 2023.
Sophie Ingle: International Career
Sophie Ingle was called-up to represent Wales at the Under–17 level and she later became the captain in the Under–19 squad. The midfielder won her first senior cap for Wales in a 2–1 World Cup qualifying defeat to Azerbaijan, which was played in Baku on 28 October 2009.
In December 2011, Sophie was named in the preliminary Team GB squad for the 2012 Olympics but did not make it into the final squad. Sophie won her 50th cap for Wales in July 2014, during a 1–1 friendly draw with Scotland in Dumfries. Wales manager Jayne Ludlow named Sophie the new national team captain ahead of the 2015 Istria Cup, replacing Jess Fishlock who was surprisingly dropped from the squad. On the 22nd of September 2020, Sophie played her 100th match for Wales against Norway during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 qualifiers.
- She can play in more than one position
- Reliable in protecting the defence
- Can score worldies
- Team leader
- Strong midfielder
Sophie Ingle: Personal Life
Sophie was introduced to football at the age of six by her elder brother Scott who she used to watch play when she was younger. Sophie’s mum used to take her to watch her brother and one day one of the coaches saw her kicking the football around and they asked if she wanted to join the younger side. Unfortunately, Sophie could only play with Vale wanderers until the age of 12 because of the rules in place about boys and girls playing together over the age of 12. Sophie’s old manager later set up a girls’ team which Sophie re-joined.
Sadly, while Sophie Ingle was competing in the Champions League with Chelsea, Sophie dealt with the death of her beloved father, Stephen, in March 2019. Sophie took to the field against Paris Saint-Germain just a week after his death to help Chelsea win a place in the final four of the Women’s Champions League.
This shows how strong Sophie is and other women’s players being able to deal with the loss of her dad but still be able to come back as quick as she did. Sophie Ingle is a role model to so many young girls in Wales and Chelsea are a better team having her in it.
- Football Association Barclays Women’s Super League: 2019–20
- FA Women’s League Cup: 2019–20
- FA Community Shield: 2020
- Liverpool Women’s Player of the Season: 2017
- Liverpool Women’s Players’ Player of the Season: 2018
- FIFA Puskas Award Nominee: 2020
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Written by Meg Aherne (@meggaherne)
Edited by Rob Pratley