After 16 weeks London City Lionesses return to Princes Park for the start of the 2022/23 Barclay’s Women’s Championship.
For the Lionesses, a London derby against Crystal Palace awaits, with both sides looking to start the new campaign with all three points.
Palace go into the new season following a summer which saw plenty of change for the south London club.
15 new players have walked through the door to join Dean Davenport's side, including Rianna Dean from Liverpool and Annable Blanchard from Blackburn Rovers.
Alongside these new additions, the team also retained key players such as their top scorer Mollie Sharpe, and their Player of the Year, Aimee Everett.
Heading into the new campaign, Palace will be looking to build upon the success last season, which saw the team finish in fourth, a record high for the club.
However, when it came to clashes with the Lionesses, it was LCL that came out on top, with a 2-1 win at home back in September, followed by a 1-5 win away in February.
Amy Rodgers celebrates after scoring in the Lionesses 1-5 win over the Eagles back in February
London City Lionesses
For London City, Sunday’s match represents the start of what promises to be another remarkable season for the club.
Off the back of the record high second place finish, the club once again strengthened during the summer, with players such as Sarah Ewens coming in from Birmingham to bolster the attack, and Lois Joel joining from West Ham, to add even more threat in the full-back roles.
On top of this, key players across the squad were also retained ahead of the new campaign, determined to help the team go one better and reach the WSL.
Speaking ahead of the opening day, Captain Harley Bennett, spoke of the mood in camp leading up the fixture.
“Coming off the back of a pre-season where we’ve been really tested in the friendlies we’ve played, there’s a really strong feeling among the group, with everyone aware of how we want to play and what the goals are for the season.
“This summer was just such an incredible one to be a part of, and all of us in women’s football feel so lucky to be in the game at this time.
“And especially for us as a team, coming off the back of that second place finish, and giving ourselves the platform to push on and go one better, we all can’t wait to get this season off and running.”
Cheering on the Lionesses in the final home game of last season
But for Bennett and the rest of the side, they know just how important the support from the sidelines was last season in helping them reach that milestone.
“Yeah the fans were incredible last year,” said Bennett, “I remember our Conti Cup game against Birmingham, under the lights, and they were brilliant, and they gave us such a boost to push on and get the result.”
Head Coach, Melissa Phillips
“It’s an exciting time for women’s football and we know the Barclay’s Women’s Championship will be the most competitive season to date.
“We are looking forward to the challenge and what better way than to open with a London derby. We know Palace will pose an extremely competitive match as they are always very attacking minded and have a new complement of players.
“It is always about focusing on the performance on the day, but we feel prepared and full of belief in our identity both on and off the pitch. A real credit to the staff and team that goes into the hard work throughout pre-season.”
Remember London City fans, tickets are still available for Sunday’s match! Click the link to get yours now!