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Kerys Harrop: Tottenham defender breaks Women's Super League all-time appearance record


A University of Wolverhampton graduate made the BBC news recently after breaking the record for most Women's Super League appearances.

English footballer and Champions League semi-finalist, Kerys Harrop, studied on the postgraduate Sports and Exercise Science course at the University's Walsall Campus where she gained vital skills in leadership, communication and team work.

The Tottenham Hotspur defender, who was part of the Great Britain team to win Gold in Kazan at the 2013 World University Games, completed an internship at one of the University's partner professional football clubs.

Kerys recently broke the record for most Women's Super League appearances by playing in her 178th game in the competition.

As reported by the BBC as follows:

Harrop, 32, overtook Gilly Flaherty and Kate Longhurst as Tottenham lost 2-1 to Everton on Sunday.

"She's a born winner," said Spurs interim manager Vicky Jepson.

Longhurst could have pulled back level with Harrop but was an unused substitute as West Ham drew 0-0 with Liverpool later on Sunday.

Harrop made her WSL debut in 2011 for Birmingham City, where she played 135 league games.

In her nine years there, the former England Under-20 defender helped Birmingham to two second-placed league finishes and FA Cup success in 2012.

Harrop joined Spurs in 2020 and has since played 43 times in the competition.

"She's been a part of the history of the WSL from when it started and we had the Spring Series," added Jepson in the build-up to her side's match with Everton.

"She's got some stories that's for sure. She had to pay to play and now she is being paid to play, so what a journey that is.

"She is so competitive. She turns up to win every time whether that's a possession-based practice or on matchday."

Kerys blogged last year about witnessing the incredible performance of England's Lionesses as they were crowned winners of the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Championships. 

She said: "When I turned fully professional at Birmingham City Women in 2017, I was still holding down a role as a visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton. I did this, firstly because I enjoyed my teaching and liked the fact that I had a dual identity. But I also chose to do it to earn some extra income, as my wage wasn’t satisfactory to allow me to save money for a house and all the other important things in life.

"In 2020, I moved to Tottenham Hotspur, and this wage allowed me to fully concentrate on my football, though I did still choose to carry on my lecturing one day a week because I enjoy it so much.

"Many, if not all of the girls in the Women’s Super League, can now also choose to focus fully on football and have it as their main form of employment. This is due to significantly higher levels of investment, not just from the men’s clubs who support their women’s teams, but also from the Football Association.

"The women’s game now also attracts more sponsors and commercial investors, such as Barclays, who are the main sponsor of the top two women’s leagues in England. I’m sure that after the success of the Lionesses last night, the interest from big investors will increase significantly. It is an exciting time for women’s football in this country and I can’t wait to see what the game will be like in 10 years’ time."

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