Ipswich Town Women and England's AFC Sudbury Academy star Eloise King is living her dream
When Eloise King began playing in the AFC Sudbury Grassroots section she could have never imagined just seven years later she would be an established England youth player and mainstay of a league-leading fourth-tier senior side.
But the Sudbury-based 17-year-old is determined to keep taking her success with national age group squads and Ipswich Town Women in her stride, admitting it is ‘a dream come true’.
In her final year at AFC Sudbury Academy, this season has already seen her progress through to the England Women’s Under-18s squad as well as becoming a key creative force in Ipswich’s promotion push.
She made her senior debut with The Tractor Girls in the summer and the attacking midfielder has not looked back, helping Joe Sheehan’s side embark on a record club run in the Women’s FA Cup.
Town knocked out higher-league Portsmouth 1-0 at Felixstowe & Walton United’s Goldstar Ground the Sunday before last to reach the fourth round proper for the first time.
Next weekend sees them travel to the Stafflex Arena to face Huddersfield (1pm) as they look to claim another scalp.
“With the squad we have got it is looking like we can go quite far,” said the former Ormiston Sudbury Academy pupil who has also been with England at U15, U16 and U17 levels.
“Huddersfield are just one league above us so it is possible we can go there and achieve something.
“It is great to be involved in the FA Women’s Cup as it is is a big competition with the final played at Wembley.”
King played in boys’ teams in AFC Sudbury’s youth section for two years from the age of 10 before spending eight years with Colchester School of Excellence, which later became Essex Regional Talent Club.
She went back to AFC Sudbury as one of the first two female recruits to their successful full-time academy in the summer of 2018. But already involved in the England Women’s set up, training at St George’s Park, she joined Ipswich Town’s U21 programme for her playing requirements.
Her success there now sees her regularly turn out for both the first team, who are currently leading the FA Women’s National League Division 1 South East, and the U21s team.
“Longer-term I hope to play for the England seniors and progress with Ipswich to the Super League,” said the player who turns 18 in April.
King will now have to wait until March to see if she selected for the next England U18s training camp. But a lack of other U18 national sides means she is yet to play in an international match with them.
More by this authorRussell Claydon