Sheffield United Women: Neil Redfearn tips England youth international for big future

Sheffield United hotshot Lucy Watson can go all the way to the top, according to the man who oversaw the development of talents including Kalvin Phillips and Alex Mowatt.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 4:58 pm

The 17-year-old from Barnsley has found the back of the net in her last two matches for the Blades, including a goal of the season contender for a sensational 30-yard free-kick against Durham.

Watson, who can play anywhere along the front three, also bagged a brace on on her England Under 19 debut in July, having previously represented her country at Under 17 and 18 level, and has been called up to the latest squad.

Sheffield United Women head coach Neil Redfearn heaped praise on the young attacker.

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Lucy Watson of Sheffield Utd tussles with Kathryn Hill of Durham during the FA Women's Championship match at the Technique Stadium, Chesterfield. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The former Leeds United and Rotherham manager knows a thing or two about player development, having handed England international Kalvin Phillips his debut and worked with the likes of former Barnsley captain Alex Mowatt, now with West Brom, as well as Norwich City’s Sam Byram and Lewis Cook, who was capped by England in 2018.

“Lucy can go all the way, there’s no two ways about it,” Redfearn told The Star.

"She’s driven, she’s a good kid, a good person and has got good family backing.

"She’s got a massive future but these times now are key for her, these games she’s playing now. This is the exposure she needed.”

Mia Enderby, one year Watson’s junior and another England youth international, is also one to watch, Redfearn said.

"She’s of the same ilk,” Redfearn added.

"She looks a real talent. She’s definitely part of our first team plans, she’s going to play.

"I’m really, really excited about these young players.”

Tamara Wilcock is another youngster involved at first-team level this season who came through Sheffield United’s academy.

Redfearn’s team are second in the Wafter three matches, having won twice since their opening day defeat against Blackburn.

Winless Watford are up next.

"They have been successful in the division below so they have something about them,” Redfearn said.

“There’s only one team that’s still unbeaten.

"It just shows you there’s nothing in the league. All the sides are competitive and capable of winning on the day.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield-born Manchester City defender Esme Morgan needs surgery after she suffered a broken leg in a WSL match against Tottenham on Sunday.