AN Everton ladies footballer has achieved a new goal after qualifying as a teacher.

Midfielder Kelly Jones, 29, from Runcorn, has completed a tough year of

simultaneously training to teach primary school children as well as tackling opponents on the pitch.

Her twin sister Vicky, who also plays for Everton as a defender, will be following in her footsteps training as a teacher in September whilst continuing to play.

Kelly celebrated success with her team finishing top of group two in the Women's Super League after winning seven out of nine games in the spring series and being promoted to group one for the 2017/18 season.

Former Heath pupil Kelly, of Langdale Road, said: "On top of teaching, training was three times a week with games at the weekend. I left my house at 7am and returned around 10pm each night.

“Some weekend away games would be overnight trips. We travel as far as Durham or London meaning I travelled with my laptop on the team bus, continuing to work along the journey.”

Kelly trained through the Runcorn-based Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester Teacher Training Consortium (MC&GMTTC).

Through the School Direct Salaried Teacher Training programme she was based in a school in full-time employment as an unqualified teacher.

Kelly said: “It's been a physically demanding schedule but fortunately I have an amazing boyfriend who is extremely supportive and would make sure there was always something to eat for me when I returned late at night and an amazing family who have supported me throughout the journey.

“Colleagues on my course have been amazing as well. We were always in constant contact with each other, providing support and that has been invaluable along the way.”

The joy of watching children blossom, she says, is worth all the effort.

She added: “The best part of the teaching process has been seeing the children's faces in my lessons and seeing the difference I can make in their lives. It makes all the hard work worth it.

“In terms of Everton winning the spring series title was fantastic. We set out at the start to win the league and set a high-standard and we did that.

“At any level you want to win things. It's amazing that we have been selected to return to the top level of women's football."

Bob Cleverly, training manager for the MC&GMTTC, said "Kelly, along with the rest of her cohort, have been a pleasure to have on the programme.

“Their dedication, hard work and enjoyment of primary teaching have shone through and we at the consortium wish them all the very best for long and successful careers in teaching."