Last Saturday, the London City Lionesses Kent PDP Under-18’s came away with a 3-0 win over WImbledon, to be crowned champions of the Capital Girls League.
It was a top performance from the whole team, with goals in the first half coming from Ellie Denham, Eleanor walker and top scorer for the Lionesses, Chiedza Madamombe.
After the break it was all about showing maturity to keep composed and handle the pressure.
Wimbledon put pressure on the City back-line, but captain Ellie Dolby kept everyone focused and made sure that the team saw the game out.
After the game, I sat down with Ellie Dolby and Milly Driscoll and first asked them how it felt to be crowned title winners.
“It feels brilliant,” said Dolby, “the girls have worked so hard this season and I'm so proud of all of them.”
“It’s just an amazing feeling”, said Driscoll, “I’m so proud of everyone and I think we’ve improved our game massively over the season.”
But what were the nerves like for both of them going into such an important game?
“Yeah i was a little bit nervous,” replied Driscoll, “but we’d beaten them before earlier in the season at home, so I knew that we had it in us”
“It was more confidence than nerves actually for me,” said Dolby, “even though they beat us the last time we were at their place, we knew that we had enough this time.”
And whilst most Saturday’s the team can be found playing their next league or cup match, on Sunday’s they’ve been in great voice, cheering on the first team at Princes Park.
So which London City players have stood out for them this season as one’s they’ve modelled their own game on?
“Definitely the captain, Harley Bennttt,” said Dolby, “she plays in my position and I'd do anything to be in her shoes in a couple of years' time.”
“Ali Palisch for me,” said Driscoll, “we’re both full-back and we’ve been lucky enough to have her come and coach us sometimes, and I really look up to her.”
So, if someone came to either of them and they weren’t sure if they should come for a trial, what would they say to them?
“I would definitely go for it,” said Discoll, “this is the best club I've been at and since starting here I’ve become so much more confident in my game.”
“Yeah me too,” said Dolby, “this is such an amazing club, and for me, coming back into football after being away for a few years, it was just such a welcoming environment.”
Finally, I asked Sporting Director and head coach of the U18’s, Edward Gallagher, what his thoughts were on the win:
"It's a great experience for players to win a league at any level and it's a fantastic habit to try and get into at an early age,” said Gallagher, “the players have worked very hard over the season and the parents have been supportive in making sure the girls are at sessions and games all over London and Kent, so it's a great reward for the hard work.
“It's never our sole aim to win leagues or trophies, but it is an important part of their overall development.
“We've had 7/8 players from our U18s play up with our development team this season which is even more important and we will see even more of them make up the nucleus of our new senior academy team for next season.
“It's been a great season for the girls and they have a County Cup Final and a League Cup Final to look forward to in May which could top off a great year for them"
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