Friday, June 14, 2024

Arsenal Women defender Amanda Ilestedt announces pregnancy

Arsenal Women centre-half Amanda Ilestedt has announced that she is expecting her first child. The Swedish centre-half signed from Paris Saint Germain in the summer and forged a strong partnership with Lotte Wubben-Moy in defence.

Ilestedt has been out for the last few games with the club reporting she was out with ‘illness’ but the recall of young centre-half Katie Reid from her loan spell with Watford was a clue that Ilestedt was expected to be absent for the remainder of the season.

Ilestedt shared the happy news that she is expecting her first child. A statement from the club read, ‘We are delighted to share the happy news that Amanda Ilestedt is expecting her first child. Amanda is doing well and we are supporting her closely throughout this new and exciting journey.

‘Amanda will continue to undertake light training activities and keep in close contact with our medical team as her pregnancy progresses, but will not now be available for selection until after she has given birth. Everybody at Arsenal would like to send our warm congratulations to Amanda and her partner Rainer ahead of the new arrival.’

A big congratulations to Amanda.

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So, how do clubs manage such circumstances? Obvs its good for her, but not great for the team to be missing a helpful player for an extended period. In individual sports an athlete missing an extended period for pregnancy feels a more personal decision, but in a team context she is putting her own wants ahead of the needs of the team. So how does the team cover? It’s just treated like an injury or are there maternity related rules that give teams options to bring in cover? I guess it’s not as simple as saying a club can make… Read more »

Fun Gunner

This definitely needs to be looked at honestly and openly.


I think it should be treated like an work place child expectancy issue. It is a private personal decision that she is allowed to make outside of the team and whenever she cannot do her work duties, she goes on leave etc. It should not be different in sport (or for the playing staff) vs other women working (in let’s say offcies) at arsenal

Peter Story Teller

Not sure why this has so many down votes. As Fun Gunner says a proper discussion needs to be had. A female footballer signs a contract to play for a team but is then unavailable due to pregnancy puts the remainder of the team under increased pressure. For example, if we were playing in Europe would we able to register an extra player for maternity cover or are we stuck with the original list even though there is no chance of that player taking the field?

Fun Gunner

Exactly – and due regard should be given to the interests of *all* parties, the mother-to-be, the club and, as Conflicted rightly says, her teammates. It affects all of them.


I suspect this line attracts the down votes: “she is putting her own wants ahead of the needs of the team.” That is one way of looking at I suppose, but I don’t agree with the assessment. The decision and opportunity to have a child is full of many variables and its not helpful to characterize as some sort of binary choice. It is clearly not and furthermore it is frankly the circumstances are none of our business. Working women get pregnant, that is a fact and employers owe them consideration and support in their policies and actions. Simple as.… Read more »

Mr Dob Bobalina

Not sure you’ve thought through the hellish implications of the team even being considered here.

Congratulations to Amanda Ilestedt

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

Given she signed recently,
odds are this is unplanned,
life happens and there is not exactly a way around it.


just only hire gay players?
shame on you!

Fun Gunner

Congratulations, Amanda! So that was your “illness”! We probably won’t see Ilestedt in competitive action for another 12 months, going by other cases, but it’s a better reason to miss out than an ACL injury. And what an opportunity for Katie Reid, potentially. Tim – podcast idea – now that more and more players are having babies during as opposed to after their playing career, what needs to change in the organisation of women’s football? Maternity and pregnancy rights covered in contract? Increased squad sizes? Emergency pregnancy cover loans outside the transfer windows? Creches for the under-twos at major competitions?… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

“but will not now be available for selection until after she has given birth.” Not sure who wrote that but It is likely they have not brought a new human into the world. Ignoring for a minute what the mother’s body has to go through, even with full support of their partner, getting proper rest etc. for the first months if not a year could mean Amanda will not be back at her best within her current contract. It’s one thing going back to work in an office after having a baby but the demands are very different for a… Read more »


A year after the birth is still after the birth. Nobody has said she will be back as soon as she has given birth, only that she won’t be back before then.

Peter Story Teller

That’s what I am saying. She might not even be back before her contract expires! I am guessing she got 2 years and she has already had 8 months or so. She might not be back!

Little Cubby

Why on earth would you get pregnant when you have a career as a footballer which has an extremely short life anyway?
Not impressed

Fun Gunner

Contraception failure?

Little Cubby

Maybe, but as l say when you have such a short career anyway (and one which impacts those around you) it seems careless

Fun Gunner

However careful you are, no method of contraception is 100% reliable.



Fun Gunner

I wasn’t joking – I reckoned it was an accidental pregnancy.


Who cares if you’re impressed? Clown

Death by 300,000 Passes

Because family is more important than the career?

Little Cubby

Not when you’ve just signed for a club and you’re getting paid a lot of money to be on the pitch!


It could be unplanned too; let’s not get too personal.

Wrighty’s hats

I think this line of thinking highlights the lack of understanding and awareness of the societal barriers facing women in the workplace in general. Could partly be put down to the women’s game being relatively new still and that these issues haven’t been discussed enough in public discourse yet. Firstly… How many male footballers have children? Isn’t it incredibly convenient that they can have children during their playing years and not be physically set back each time they have a child, and essentially not have to worry about when to have them? Have you considered that many women across the… Read more »


This sums up the points discussed here really well. Everything in Womens football has been adapted from the mens game and it is only now, very slowly that there is thinking around what needs to be done for women in football. There needs to be thinking around how the sport needs to be designed for Women, not just the kit and shoes but the way injuries are managed, understanding why this is happening, what needs to be changed to benefit them. Popularity of the Womens game is growing significantly and keeping women at the center can only help them get… Read more »



Gunner H

Congratulations to Amanda.

With respect to the club, it’s timely given both Leah’s return and Codina’s recent jump in form.

Little Cubby

So, it is ok for someone to call me a “clown” for my supposed unsympathetic comments on this issue but not ok for my reply to state that it is a ‘child like’ response ? My opinion on this subject (which l have a right to) is based on the fact that women’s sport especially football has struggled to be valued and taken seriously with the detractors saying things like “women should stay at home and have babies” or “women shouldn’t play football” its bad enough that all those poor players with acl injuries have their careers hampered and lose… Read more »

All In

I don’t think it’s appropriate to call anyone a clown. We should keep higher standard than that. But, in my opinion your comments are highly speculative. We have no idea about her contract or which discussions she might have had with the management. The last sentence is beyond all respect! I think you’re also completely wrong with your conclusion that child birth is something she can do later. Plenty of players continue until they are close to 40 (Sinclair, Seger, Rapinoe, pick your choice). After that it might be to late and definitely connected with higher risks. Your assumption regarding… Read more »

Little Cubby

….. But you’ve missed my fundamental point….. haven’t you?

All In

If your point is that her pregnancy is a blow to women’s football and the fight for it to be taken more seriously, no. But I find your arguments speculative and disrespectful.

If there’s another point, please inform me.

Little Cubby

Point 1 it gives credence to all those who try to hold back women’s football on the basis that they don’t take it seriously enough to put aside those things til later, after their career is either over or nearing its end. Point 2 if you are being paid by an employer to do a job and then you put yourself in a position where you can’t do that job…….. The other comments where side issues based on observations of possibilities, l was not suggesting they were set in stone just strong possibilities. I don’t think lve said anything disrespectful… Read more »

All In

P1. I don’t think it’s something you should have to consider as an individual. Is there something more serious than the decision to have a baby? Some might think she could have waited until her contract expired but who knows, they might have tried for some time, even before she joined the club. It’s not on/off for everybody. P2. Isn’t it the same for whatever job you have? Dare l also say maybe this was always her plan, join a big club and get paid for having a child! This is for me disrespectful and somewhat insinuating. I know you… Read more »


has amanda told you when to have your children?

Colin Carey

Just hope the remainder of the forward line don’t follow suit😁😁

Little Cubby

Ok. I will not visit this site again. As it appears lm not woke enough 🤷

Fun Gunner

Don’t go anywhere, Little Cubby. IMO all points of view are welcomed (though not necessarily agreed with)! As long as you’re a genuine supporter of this great club, that’s what matters. But going back to Amanda’s baby – it was probably unplanned, but even if it wasn’t, it has happened. This will happen more and more heterosexual women get into football, and maternity rights are built into contracts. It’s understandable to be disappointed that we are going to miss her for a year or so but women don’t have equal access to playing football on the basis that they are… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I heard that Dom was available too! Pleased she reverted to her maiden name so we know who she is. Bloodworth, who? I bet she would love regular matches at the Emirates with 60,000 in the crowd!


Well, lve read this whole thread and yours is by far the best response to little cub understandable dissapointment to this situation

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