Bethany Mead’s budding career has been especially incredible due to her goal scoring feats at such a young age. The 22 year old plays like a veteran striker; always in the right place at the right time to sniff out a chance, displaying an ice cold level of composure before finishing like she has all the time in the world. As she continues to develop and take part in the biggest games in the top flight of Women’s football, it seems obvious that Mead will be the one responsible for the successes of her teams and it’s a responsibility she will relish.
Mead’s interest and start in football occurred innocuously as she joined in a local boy’s team training session in the park. From that point, Mead was hooked and at 10 years of age she quickly joined California Girls side in the north of England. While playing California girls she also continued to take part in playing with the boy’s team until she wasn’t allowed to anymore. Her technical growth as a player led her to Middlesbrough’s centre of excellence where the English national team youth setup spotted her and she was selected to play for the U15s and U17s.
In 2011, Sunderland Ladies signed the 16 year old. Instead of allowing her to get acclimatised to her new club and real competitive football, Mead was thrown straight in at the deep end as she was immediately selected for the first team as Sunderland embarked on a title defence. Mead adapted instantly and ended up finishing the season with a fantastic record of 29 goals in 28 league and cup games, winning the golden boot and the domestic double with her side. She followed up that season by plundering another 30 goals in 28 appearances in the 2012/2013 season again winning the golden boot and another league title.
Sunderland joined the WSL 2 in 2014 and again Mead excelled in new surroundings as she led her team to promotion from the WSL 2 as champions. She got 13 goals in 18 league games which meant that Sunderland were able to go up to WSL 1 and earn professional status. Her exploits in 2014 got her called up for the England U20 squad for the U20 World Cup in Canada. Mead announced herself on the world stage with an audacious goal in the group stage against Mexico; after dribbling past a Mexican defender, Mead unleased a thumping 30 yard effort that nearly broke the net.
Mead returned from her international exploits to again do what she does best domestically. In her first ever season in WSL 1; Mead won the golden boot again as Sunderland finished impressively in 4th place and she was named PFA Young Player of the Year. After her fine first WSL 1 campaign, Arsenal were keen to bring the striker to their club. Mead turned them down to play another year for Sunderland, but Arsenal wouldn’t be denied and in January 2017, Arsenal finally got their woman. Mead left Sunderland with a record of 77 goals in 78 appearances.
Typically, so far this season Mead is Arsenal’s top scorer with 12 strikes and she tasted success with her new club as Arsenal won the Continental Tyres Cup with a 1-0 win over Manchester City. Mead was a driving force on their journey to the final as she scored in five of the six games in the competition before the final.
At this point, Mead has garnered a reputation as a player who guarantees goals and if she continues as she is, she will go down as being one of the greatest goal scorers in the game.