London City’s final match before the international break saw defender Hayley Nolan reach an important milestone.
The Republic of Ireland international, who arrived at Princes Park in 2020, hit the half-century mark in appearances in the Lionesses’ 1-0 win over Birmingham City on Sunday [12 February].
“I’m obviously buzzing,” said Nolan. “It wasn’t as pretty as we would’ve liked, but it was a great team performance. We worked really hard for each other and defended the lead after we scored. I’m actually really happy for the clean sheet because we haven’t had one for a while.”
The 25-year-old is the sixth player to hit the milestone with London City, joining Lily Agg, Harley Bennett, Lucy Fitzgerald, Atlanta Primus, and Shae Yanez in the 50-appearance club.
Nolan played an instrumental role in Sunday’s win, locking down the left side of the defence with a dominant performance.
“Hayley has been one of our most-improved performers,” explained Agg. “I think she’s been exceptional, she’s really focussed on what she needs to improve on, and to see where she’s at now is phenomenal.
“Hayley has a massive future in the game and has been so important for the Republic of Ireland. She flies under the radar for London City, but I’d say she’s the unsung hero week-in, week-out. She has been so solid defensively and reads the play really well.
“[Against Sunderland] she even stepped into midfield, by tucking in a little stepover and almost curling one top bins. I’m really excited to see her hit this milestone and it will feel her with even more confidence for the World Cup.”
Nolan has also played an important leadership in Dartford, helping #ThePride establish a winning culture from the outset.
“It’s so exciting to have the players hit these milestones,” said interim head coach Nikita Runnacles. “It shows that the players have been here for a prolonged period of time and are a really important part of this club on and off the pitch.
“It also means that these are people who live and breathe our values every day. There’s a reason why they’ve reached the milestone and it’s because of their approach to being a London City player.
“We’re delighted for Hayley to reach the milestone and we hope for many more appearances in a London City shirt.”
Hayley, congratulations on hitting the 50-appearance plateau! We're thrilled to have you as a member of The Pride.