Starting in 2018, I have decided to accept a new challenge and head to Germany to join Bayern Munich on an 18-month contract to continue my career. This in turn means my emotional farewell to Sky Blue FC after two years in New Jersey.

Sky Blue has not only been my team, but also my family for the past two seasons. They welcomed me into the team fresh from college and helped me continue my love for the game when playing at the highest level in the USA.

There is not one minute to regret and not one minute I will ever forget. I will always be very grateful and have been truly blessed to have met the amazing people I have and the friends who will be forever my family. 

I’m currently at home in Harrogate, near Leeds, for the holidays, but once again I’ll be leaving having spent the last six years in the US away from family and friends.

(Picture: Sky Blue FC)

I will be leaving in January to continue this incredible journey football has so far taken me on and to once again better myself as a player and a person. 

The first four years I spent in America was at a facility in Long Island, NY, Hofstra University. 

Here I got used to the American way of life and the ability to express myself on the field. My coaches believed in me and helped me improve my game every season and my team mates helped me improve in many ways, on and off the field. 

Here I felt a real love for the game. This was the foundation for my successful time in America and I will be forever honoured to be a Hofstra alumni. 

So why Bayern Munich….why now and why another change of country?

The club won back-to-back league titles in 2015 and 2016 and are regulars in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, having reached the competition the last three seasons. The club’s roster contains many of the greatest players in the world, including Olympic Gold medalists Melanie Behringer and Leonie Maier. They have world class facilities and a passion and love like no other for success in the women’s and men’s game. 

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I was recently injured during the 2017 season in the NWSL while playing for Sky Blue. These three months were very hard for me. I’m grateful for having amazing friends around me to help get me through the roughest of times in my playing career. While watching the girls train and trying my hardest to get back on the field, I learnt a lot about myself and who I am. During these times, as much as I loved my team, I thought about a new challenge and new environment to push myself again once I was 100% fit. It was after the 2017 NWSL season finished that I felt in myself it was the right time to fly back over the pond again. 

I want to be the best player in the world. I want to play in a World Cup and the Olympics. 

My motivation is very simple. I hope that this change in team, league, country and lifestyle will make me better as a player and a person.

Training with these incredible players day in day out, having a lifestyle of a professional athlete, working with some incredible coaches and staff, is exactly what I want and need to push to to the next level in my playing career. 

It has always been a dream of mine to be challenged everyday and to compete in the Champions League. In Germany, with FC Bayern Munich, this is all possible. Playing in Europe also gives me more hope for national team selection. I must reiterate because I think its so important – I want to play in the World Cup, I want to go to Tokyo in 2020 for the Olympics (that’s if Team GB enters). 

This was by far the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life. For a while this has been the biggest battle between my head and my heart. Right now, I have to follow my heart.

I’m only 23 years old, 

I’m not in my prime, but when I am I want it to be the best in the world. 

I don’t want to be comfortable, I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past six years during my time in America, I appreciate it and this move is only to make me better and make you more proud. 

Wish me luck please!

Danke,

Leah Galton.