Lightning Sign Ipswich Duo

Loughborough Lightning are delighted to announce the signings of Poppy Wright and Zofia Szczech from Ipswich Town.

Poppy Wright, a talented technical midfielder who enjoys being on the football and conducting play from midfield, made 14 appearances in Ipswich Town’s Women’s U21 Academy team last season. Zofia Szczech, a composed and combative defender, also joins from ITFC, where she made 2 appearances last season due to a long-term injury lay-off.  

Head Coach Charlie Baxter worked with both Zofia and Poppy at Ipswich Town and was keen to bring both players to Loughborough ahead of the 23/24 season. Charlie Baxter had this to say: 

 “We are delighted to bring both Poppy and Zofia to Lightning, and the splendid work from all the staff in getting them both here. Having worked with both Zofia and Poppy previously, I can say with great confidence they will bring great versatility and professionalism.” 

On Poppy, Charlie added: “Poppy is a player of top quality. She is calm, composed and a highly intelligent player. She will bring a huge amount of extra strength to our midfield and variety to our play.”

When asked to comment directly on Zofia, Charlie added: “It's been a tough couple of seasons for Zofia with injury setbacks, but I know she is more determined than anyone to have an impact here at Lightning next season. She is an extremely versatile defender capable of playing off both feet, with a tenacious playing style. Zofia will certainly add more depth to our defensive options.” 

Lastly, Baxter added: “Both these signings represent another important step in strengthening our young core of talented players we have here at Lightning. We look forward to working with Zofia and Poppy next season and beyond.” 

Zofia “I have worked with Charlie before when he shared the vision for the programme this was a place I wanted to be. I will get lots of opportunities here for minutes which means lots of opportunities to improve. I’m looking forward to getting back on the pitch and playing football, I want to develop as a player and help the team fight for promotion this season. I want to work hard to become a regular starter in the team personally and I will give as much as I can to help the team achieve promotion.” 

Poppy “I am looking forward to playing with experienced players and taking my first steps in senior women’s football. We have a lot of fresh faces, and we want to achieve our targets. I chose to join Loughborough because I felt this programme, environment alongside the huge team of support staff and excellent facilities fitted the best for me, my personal development and learning. I’m here to better myself as a person and a player and in the long run we want to get promoted.”

Director of Football Rebecca Sawiuk added “During the first week of pre-season both Poppy and Zofia have been excellent. You can see their quality in the football, testing etc, they're fantastic human beings and have fitted into the programme well. I really hope in the next few years we can become a destination for the best young players who want to study, develop, and play football. This is just the start.” 

Both Poppy and Zofia will join our hybrid fulltime training programme at Loughborough University in September alongside their studies at Loughborough, and we are excited to support both in their personal, academic and football development journey. 

We are absolutely delighted to secure both Poppy and Zofia’s signatures, signings such as these mark a real statement of intent for the direction of women’s football here at Loughborough. 


Welcome to the Lightning Family!