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Walters delighted with key role

3 April 2019

Nottingham Forest Ladies defender Grace Walters has risen through the team's ranks since she joined the club at 12 and has become a prominent figure in this season's starting 11.

Walters, who has made 24 appearances across all competitions so far this season, has also captained her childhood side on several other occasions and expressed her delight towards featuring so much this season.

She said: "To regularly start for the team is such a great feeling and I feel honoured every time I get named as part of the starting 11. To occasionally captain the team has been even more incredible.

"I used to watch the first team when I was part of the youth section and I never believed that I would one day be playing for the team I then watched, let alone have the opportunity to wear the armband."

The 22-year-old, who has spent the past decade in the Garibaldi Red, added: "When I joined I always hoped that I would stay with Forest for as long as I could. This is the club that I have always loved and supported."

The defender has made over 50 senior appearances for Forest and enjoyed dozens of memorable moments through the years including one from this season.

"Playing at The City Ground against Jamaica is one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had," she said. "To play against international opposition to a crowd of over 4,000 people was amazing and something I'll never forget and cherish for a long time.

"Another great moment was winning the league with the reserves. We had such a great season and worked so hard to be champions."

Another moment in her playing history that stands out for Walters was when she realised the team was her 'home'.

She said: "We played a friendly against Manchester United and I knew then that I felt at home with this club and I wanted to stay here, work hard, and be the best that I could."

Walters has cemented her place in the Forest hall of fame after becoming one of the many success stories of players that have risen through the youth ranks to the senior side and is always on hand to offer words of wisdom to her younger teammates.

"Stay focused, always strive to improve, and enjoy playing football," she said. "At the end of the day that's what it's all about. We all play because we love the game but we also want to be the best that we can be for ourselves and for our teammates.

"When you're young, mistakes can seem so big and feel so heavy but the most important thing is to learn from those mistakes, take the advice from those around you and use it to grow and improve."

Looking ahead to the future, Walters can only see her football career remaining with The Reds.

"I love this team and I want to stay with them and help us progress. I honestly see this team in the FA Women's Championship someday. I believe that with the right support and attitude this team can, and will, go far."

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