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'I never met or chatted to the coaches. I found that quite impersonal'

THERE are not too many top players, even in women's football, who would choose Notts County over Manchester City, but Rachel Corsie has previous when it comes to rejecting big-name clubs.

Rachel Corsie has left Glasgow City to play in England after 5½ years at the club, but she admits she would also like to play someday in Australia and the USA. Picture: SNS

The 24-year-old from Aberdeen was wanted by Celtic in 2008, but resisted their overtures to join Glasgow City.

At the time the Scottish champions did not enjoy anything like the profile they have now but the calculated gamble paid off with regular European football and 14 domestic league and cup winners' medals.

Corsie, who was also on the radar of Liverpool and a leading Swedish club before signing for County, explains: "I spoke to Man City quite a bit but it was all being done through the board of the club.

"I never met or chatted to the coaches and I found that quite impersonal. It was similar to my experience with Celtic 5½ years ago. They showed me round Parkhead and of course that is going to be impressive.

"But you have to strip it back and look at what you are actually going to get and how it is going to develop you as a player. I felt I had better opportunities to grow at Glasgow City.

"I've had a mixed response to joining Notts County; some people are surprised I chose them. But I had to be sure that the coaching and training at the club I moved to would improve me. When I was struggling to make a decision their coach, Rick Passmoor, would pick up the phone and chat about football in general without trying to impose the club or himself on me. I found that quite comforting."

The Scotland vice-captain, who is expected to win her 57th cap in Thursday's friendly against Finland, joins the growing exodus of players who are leaving the country to become full-time professionals, but Corsie is giving up more than most. Her playing career in Glasgow was complemented by a day job at accountants Ernst & Young.

"Having become a qualified chartered accountant last year my salary was reasonably healthy," she confirms. "I had to accept an offer which ensured I wouldn't be putting myself in financial difficulties, but this move isn't about money because it means a substantial loss in terms of income.

"I'm taking a complete career break to do this. I was at a point where I might have gone into quite a senior position if I'd continued with Ernst & Young, but was also at that stage where I needed to make a move if I want to experience full-time football."

Corsie admits she was influenced by the Wales captain Jess Fishlock, who played part of last season for Glasgow City.

"She gave me a lot of insight into the life of a professional footballer, and gave me a lot of things to think about," Corsie says. "For example, it can be quite a lonely experience away from friends and family."

Against that, the top women footballers are starting to carve out decent careers for themselves. Lotta Schelin, the Swedish striker, is reputed to be on £200,000 a year at French club Olympique Lyonnais. Fishlock - who in 2013 was able to play for clubs in Seattle, Glasgow and Melbourne because the women's seasons are played at different times - is also setting a template for how female players can make a decent living from the game.

"Australia could be a possibility for me," Corsie says with a smile. "They have a short season from November to February and, apart from it helping my football, I can think of worse places to spend the winter.

"My ultimate aim is to play in the National Women's Soccer League in America. It's a short, intense season and for me it's the pinnacle of the women's club game."

Corsie, who joined her new club last Monday, is more aware than most that chances in life have to be seized, having suffered a serious knee injury playing for Scotland in the Euro 2013 play-off match against Spain 15 months ago.

She only returned to the City side in the summer, again showing the qualities which led to the club making her captain in her early twenties.

Still a fervent Aberdeen supporter who has appreciated the recent upsurge in fortunes that the men's team have enjoyed under Derek McInnes, she joined City as a right-sided midfielder but was converted to a central defender by Eddie Wolecki Black and has gone from strength to strength. "I'm not leaving City because I was unhappy," she points out. "I made sure they knew I appreciate everything they have done for me.

"They supported me, turned me into a defender and made me an international player. Even though Ernst & Young were very good in giving me time off, it's difficult to work even part-time and be a professional athlete. Kim Little has always told me that being fully professional makes a huge difference."

Corsie has made one concession to the feeling that she did not make the obvious choice in joining Notts County - she insisted on a one-year contract only. She is now likely to have her defensive qualities tested more than they ever were at Glasgow City.

Where the seven-time Scottish champions are rarely stretched in domestic games, Notts County are - despite a raft of recent signings from Australia and New Zealand - likely to be on their toes every week in the WSL.

Manchester City and Liverpool have been splashing the cash, while Arsenal, under their Scottish manager Shelley Kerr, will be keen to reassert themselves as England's leading club.

Additionally, there has been upheaval at Notts County, who last season operated as Lincoln Ladies. Ray Trew, the club's owner who also has a controlling interest in the County men's team, decided to merge his two interests and both sides will play at Meadow Lane and share training facilities.

Whilst the decision was understandably unpopular in Lincoln, the chance to play home games at a men's league ground was another factor in helping Corsie decide where to make the next - important - step in her career.

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