Freya Godfrey: A star footballer in the making

Alara Sehitler and Freya Godfrey go head-to-head
Alara Sehitler of Germany is challenged by Freya Godfrey of England during the international friendly match between England Women U19 and Germany Women U19 at St George's Park on September 26, 2023 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images for DFB)

At just 18 years old, Freya Godfrey is already making a name for herself as a high-level footballer. The highly-skilled, Essex-born player began her football journey with the Essex FA’s Regional Talent Club.

The attacking midfielder is currently continuing her development on a season-long loan at Charlton Athletic from Women’s Super League team Arsenal. She signed her first professional contract with the North London club in June 2023.

Get to know Freya Godfrey

One of the Gunners’ many young prodigies, Godfrey has been with the Arsenal Academy since she was 12. When it comes to her contribution to their game, the statistics speak for themselves. With an impressive 13 goals to her name in 18 appearances in the WSL Academy League, Godfrey is certainly one to watch as she continues an exciting chapter in her career.

Previously, the rising star has also played with Ipswich Town FC, where she spent part of the 2022/23 season on dual registration with Arsenal. Godfrey demonstrated her game-changing impact upfront and in the midfield during her time with the National League side.

While she has clearly proven her status as a formidable midfielder, there is no denying that Godfrey plays an additional, vital role as a goalscorer for both club and country.

Godfrey is also a key member of the England Under 19s squad, having worked her way up through the age groups. The recent international break was a great success for the Young Lionesses, as they secured an unbeaten run against other top teams. Godfrey scored two goals across the three fixtures and captained the team to a huge 5-1 victory over Sweden on December 1.

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What makes Charlton’s number 14 so special?

Godfrey’s technical ability in possession of the ball and her positioning off it, combined with her relentless nature as an attacking-minded player, sets her apart from many others her age.

Before her recent indomitable stint with England’s Under 19s, Godfrey had several other quality showings throughout 2023.

Looking at her WSL debut for Arsenal alone, for example, it is clear that this relatively new face to the top-flight of UK football can hold her own when playing alongside more experienced payers. Godfrey’s late substitute appearance in a monumental 0-4 win away against Brighton in May highlighted the value of her playing style. She seamlessly slotted in to replace the technically outstanding Kathrine Kühl and worked brilliantly alongside the midfield magician Victoria Pelova. Despite only playing limited minutes, Godfrey’s confidence and proficiency confirmed that head coach Jonas Eidevall’s faith was rightly placed in his youthful bench amid the squad’s injury crisis.

Throughout her time playing in the competitive Barclays Women’s Championship with table-topping South London club Charlton, Godfrey has maintained her role as a force on the pitch. A late win over Lewes in early November stands out as having seen her act as something of a super-sub brought on in the second half of an eventful match. Her fast breaks up the wing and crosses into the box put a determined, strong Lewes side under pressure, and a dramatic end to the clash saw Charlton take away all three points following a highly-contested penalty.

What does the future hold?

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Already renowned for her relentless nature in attack, this young player will surely excel further as the season progresses.

Playing at the top of the ever-ruthless championship can only serve to improve the skill set of a footballer with so much potential. Godfrey’s leadership and increasingly valuable contributions to the England youth team both on and off the pitch showcase the advancement of her versatility and determination.

These assets shown by Godfrey make her a threatening opponent for any defender going forward. A crucial part of every club she has played for, she appears to have an excellent understanding of her individual role going into each game. This attacking midfielder does everything she can to further the efforts of her teammates, often to great effect, with her impact undeniable regardless of whether it comes from the bench or the starting 11.

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