Football manager Carla is a major Sheffield fan

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Carla Ward, the first team manager for Sheffield United Ladies, reveals her favourite things to readers this week.

Carla joined the club in November 2017, after a successful playing career representing England at youth level, then captaining Great Britain at the World University Games.

She said: “When Sheffield United came calling it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. With the club really backing the ladies bid to reach the top flight it is a really exciting time to be involved at this great club.”

The next few weeks could be significant in the club’s history, she added, with May 28th being the date when clubs up and down the country find out if they have been successful in joining the country’s ‘elite’, in the form of the FA Women’s Super League.

Born far from Sheffield, on the Isle of Wight, Carla moved to Grenoside, Sheffield, eight years ago, when she signed for Sheffield FC.

Since moving north, the city has created a big impression on Carla. “I have enjoyed it immensely and see myself here for a very long time to come,” she enthused.

“Places I love include;

SUFC ACADEMY

I guess this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me and my love for the beautiful game.

As a player I enjoyed eight years training in world class facilities before joining United. Now the SteelPhalt Academy at Shirecliffe is my work base.

Being based and able to work, coach and learn in such an elite environment is a dream come true for me. It’s a place where there is always something going on – a real hub for the elite players and youngsters taking important steps in their careers, whether they be aspiring females such as Hannah Cain or Millie Bright (now representing England), or David Brooks or Harry Maguire on the male side.

LADYBOWER RESERVOIR

One of the first places I enjoyed running around when I moved to the city. This incredible location in the Peak District with unbelievable views and settings is really is a beautiful place to be – even if my route might be a bit gruelling on the lungs and legs!

KELHAM ISLAND

For me a quirky, upcoming place with a lot to offer in the heart of new Sheffield. From the Grind Café to the Milestone Restaurant, Kelham boasts many independent bars and restaurants and is somewhere I enjoy going to socialise.

ROTHER VALLEY

On the boundary between Sheffield and Rotherham, Rother Valley Country Park has a special pull for me.

Being active and having been brought up by the sea, I love to get out and about. The water sports centre at Rother Valley provides me with just that opportunity. It is a great outdoor destination with so much to offer, and of course, if I get the urge to return to the water then this is the place to be.

MEADOWHALL

You can’t beat a bit of retail therapy, and Meadowhall is a favourite haunt. It has everything I could possibly need, with shops, bars and restaurants. I sometimes find myself in there for hours on end – I wonder why!”