Key Wildcats trio sign new contracts

By and

Three key members of last season’s Durham Women squad have signed new contracts that will extend their stays at Maiden Castle until 2023.

Top scorer Beth Hepple, club captain Sarah Wilson, and right-back Ellie Christon have all agreed terms to be part of Durham’s promotion push next season and beyond.

Wilson, a centre-back who can also fill in at full-back, made it to 150 appearances in the blue of Durham last season and is looking to make many more in the coming years.

“I can’t wait to get going again for the 2021/22 season” said the defender. “I’m so proud to be part of the club and really grateful to have the opportunity to play here. I can’t wait to get started.”

Alongside Wilson in defence next season will be Ellie Christon, who was in impressive form down the right-hand side for the Wildcats last season.

Christon, who has been at the club since 2014 and also coaches the Durham University Women’s football team, has sights on great things next season.

“I love this team and the club, so it would be amazing to see us go all the way this season and get promotion. I think we definitely have what it takes to get promoted and compete against the very best every week.”

“Having been with the club since the start, I would absolutely love to see the club get to the WSL.”

Completing the triumvirate is attacking midfielder Beth Hepple, who netted 11 goals this season on her way to being named North East Football Writers’ Player of the Year for a second time earlier this year.

Hepple is the club’s record appearance holder with 170 games under her belt for the Wildcats and is delighted to commit her future to the club, saying: “I’m over the moon to be staying.

“It’s such an exciting time to be a Durham player and I can’t wait for pre-season to begin. I think we have a very strong group which I fully believe in and we really want to progress from last season and go one better.

“It will be incredible to have our fans back again too, as last season was just not the same without them.”

Lee Sanders had positive words about each of the players, and his faith in them shows Durham’s commitment to their long-term strategy, with all three players having been at the club since its foundation in 2014.

Durham will go into next season as one of the favourites for the FA Women’s Championship after a second-place finish last season, a record-breaking campaign in which all three players played a key part.

Fans will be able to watch the Wildcats at Maiden Castle for the very first time next season, having been absent for all of the 2020/21 season, and all three players remarked on just how much they are looking forward to the return of the Durham faithful.

Captain Wilson remarked on how she “can’t wait to be back playing in front of our fans”, while Christon spoke of just how much they were missed and that “hopefully they can play a big part in pushing us for promotion.”

Durham students will be able to see all three in action next season, with season tickets available for just £60.

Image: Durham Women FC

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