Sharna Wilkinson thankful for St James’ Park opportunity with Newcastle United

Newcastle United lineup against Barnsley in the FA Cup.

Sharna Wilkinson will go down in history for scoring a wonderful winning strike in front of a bumper FA Cup crowd for Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

While the midfielder didn’t start the game, she didn’t let that faze her and always backed herself to make the difference when called upon by Becky Langley.

It’s been a difficult season for Wilkinson being in and out of the team but has shown her character throughout by going out and plying her trade with the development side.

Wilkinson spoke with great honesty and belief after her winning strike at St James’ Park, when asked what she thought when receiving the ball so far out, she replied with: ‘Shoot’.

It’s that sort of self-confidence, belief and honesty which has her as a favourite within the side and was obvious through the reaction to her winning goal, which she went on to speak about.

Sharna Wilkinson on surreal goalscoring moment

‘Honestly, I just looked up, saw the keeper off her line and thought just ping it. When it went in I genuinely didn’t think it was going to go in and then when I saw everyone come up to me I just thought, it’s in.’

It wasn’t all happy though, for Wilkinson who was ruing her one mistake during the game, not celebrating in front of the famous Gallowgate End, she added:

‘I always thought if I score I’m going to run to the Gallowgate and that didn’t work so maybe next time I’ll run to the Gallowgate.’

In what has been a tough few months for Wilkinson, she always backed herself to put her stamp on the season and it’s come through hard work and dedication behind the scenes.

That moment when the ball crashed in off the post will have made all the tough times feel worth it and they’ve been a fair few this season, as Wilkinson explained:

Hard work behind the scenes leads to self-confidence

‘I think the season is always up and down you sometimes don’t get played, you sit on the bench for a full game or go with the development side.

‘I just think it’s about telling yourself you are good enough and I always say to myself that I do believe in myself and I do believe that I can go far as long as I keep believing in myself.

‘I’m just really happy to have been able to step out there and make a name for myself.’

A lot of people will just see Wilkinson’s strike and think of how wonderful it was for her to light up St James’ Park in front of thousands, but it didn’t come by chance, it’s all about belief, confidence and hard work, something a lot of young aspiring players should be striving for.

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