In January, Chloe Peplow joined Brighton & Hove Albion in pursuit of more playing time and says she has no regrets leaving Birmingham City.
Albion are currently in the WSL 2 but will be plying their trade in the top flight next season as they’ve successfully applied for WSL 1 status.
Chloe’s career started in the Midlands, yo-yoing between rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham before she earned her first professional deal.
“I was first spotted by Birmingham when I was aged seven. I played for one season before I moved to Villa,” the 19-year-old said.
“I then transferred back to Birmingham two seasons later, progressing through the centre and signing my first professional contract at 16.
“It was unbelievable and one of the best moments in my career so far, being able to call football my job and play full time!”
Not one to rest on her laurels, however, Peplow wasn’t content just playing sporadically for a WSL 1 side.
She’s sought out moves Doncaster Rovers Belles and Brighton in a bid for more first-team football, although admitted it wasn’t easy to leave Birmingham for the Seagulls in January.
“One of the hardest moments of my career was moving on from Birmingham, as it’s a club I have treasured for many years and is a massive part of me. I captained the first team, so that (was a big career moment).”
“The move has gone well. It was a big change for me as it’s far away from home and I never knew anyone, but he team have made me welcome, and I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the season.”
The midfielder featured for England in last summer’s u19 European Championship, although the Young Lionesses failed to progress through the group stages, suffering defeat to France in their final outing.
“Getting an international cap is always an honour, but defeat to France in the Euros last summer would be up there (as one of the worst career moments),” Chloe admitted.
She will be hoping to represent the England national team at senior level in the future, potentially operating alongside the likes of Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs whom she says is one of the best players she’s come up against.
“I would say Jordan Nobbs is up there. Kelly Smith too. she’s an amazing player who’s had a great career.”
Currently in the WSL 2 on loan and representing England at youth level, the 19-year-old aspires to be a top-level player for club and country in the future.
“In five years’ time, I’d love to have fully established myself and settle in the WSL 1. Hopefully, I would have plenty of international experience by then, starting with the u20 World Cup this summer.”
To earn a place in the national team, Peplow will have to perform well at club level. Her Brighton side are currently third in the WSL 2 but could narrow the gap to second to just a point if they win their game in hand.
Victory would also put Albion only four points adrift of leaders Doncaster with eight games remaining, and the guitar enthusiast is confident of bridging the gap.
“I believe Brighton can finish top of WSL 2. We have picked up a couple of good results but there is still plenty more to come from the team. It has so much potential.”
Thanks to Chloe Peplow for speaking to The Sophist. We wish her and Brighton all the best this season.