Leah Galton of Manchester United W.F.C. WSL Tottenham Hotspur Women v Manchester United Women, The Hive Stadium, London, UK - 13 Oct 2019 Photo: Michael Zemanek for The FA

Manchester United player profile: Leah Galton – She never gives the ball away

Leah Galton is a bright spark for Manchester United, she oozes skill and composure with every minute she spends on the pitch, with every touch she makes on the ball.

Her ability hasn’t gone unmissed in her so far illustrious career, which has seen become one of the most travelled players of the squad with stints in the USA and Germany.

The pacey winger found her love of football through her father, watching local club Spa Athletic FC, he encouraged her to join Knaresborough Celtic Girls aged just 5 before moving to Harrogate Town. The 25-year-old’s knack for scoring goals was recognised by Leeds United, as she rose through the academy ranks and gained a first team appearance at just 16 years old. Galton’s commitment and drive was rewarded when in 2012 she won the Ian Taylor Memorial Trophy for the Most Deserving Young Player.

Aged 18, Galton become one of an elite number of English players to have received a scholarship to learn and play in America, as she joined the Hofstra Pride for a four-year term. Whilst there, she broke records which now means she holds the second highest number of goals in the team’s history (48) and 26 assists which places her joint top. Her journey to success was topped with accolades, as she won the Colonial Athletics Associations Player of the Year award on three occasions but more importantly, was nominated and reached the semi-finals of the highly-coveted MAC Herman Trophy previously claimed by greats such as Mia Hamm, Christine Sinclair and more recently Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press.

Galton was selected as second round draft pick by Sky Blue who following issues with a Visa, she joined in the May of 2016. In her first season she played out a total of 1021 minutes in 14 appearances scoring three goals and creating numerous assists. The Harrogate-born winger built up her experience and learnt from the likes of Christie Rampone, Sam Kerr and O’Hara. She continued her success in New Jersey in 2017 with 16 appearances but was restricted from further improvements as she picked up an injury.

December 2017 brought a new start for Galton as she joined Bayern Munich but she only made one appearance before she took a break from playing  in March the following year. She quotes that she is ‘just starting to fall back in love with the game’ now following her move to The Red Devils. The winger has cemented her place in the starting line-up making 23 appearances and netting five goals, with her pace to be able to turn defenders while displaying a keen eye for a pinpoint cross.

The winger controversially turned down a recent call up for Phil Neville’s Lionesses, having previously stared in the youth levels from Under-15 to Under-23 levels. Her first and only senior call-up was in August of 2016 but she had to pull out through a hip injury. One thing that is certain is that Leah Galton is, and will continue to be ‘one of the best wingers in the country’ in the words of her coach Casey Stoney and when the time is right for her the Lionesses will come calling again.

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