Sarah Ewens joined London City Lionesses from Birmingham City last summer with a simple objective – accumulate as many minutes as possible.
With the season now in the rear-view mirror, the 31-year-old clearly achieved more than that.
Ewens immediately made her mark at Princes Park and ultimately claimed the Barclays Women’s Championship Golden Boot with a dozen goals in 19 appearances.
The Scottish attacker is also in the running for the league-wide Player of the Season award, as announced by the Football Association on Tuesday [23 May].
“It’s unbelievable to just be nominated,” Ewens said. “I’m shocked and feel really proud. I feel like it’s a team achievement because I wouldn’t be nominated if it wasn’t for the players around me.
“I was quite surprised when I found out that I was nominated – it’s something that I’m very proud of and it’s amazing to be nominated. There are a lot of players who deserve that, so I’m beyond grateful for the nomination and to be recognised for my hard work this season.”
While London City fell short in their promotion bid, there was plenty to celebrate for the Lionesses in their fourth season of existence.
The Pride, led by interim head coach Nikita Runnacles, ended the campaign with more goals, points, and wins than ever before.
“We’re just disappointed that we didn’t reach our overall goal of promotion, but it was still a great season when you consider everything we overcame and the football we played,” explained Ewens.
“You can see that we’re going in the right direction, with a great bunch of players and staff. We’re disappointed that we missed our target, but it was a good season when you take a step back and look at the whole year.”
There were also a few surprises along the way for Ewens, who joined London City expecting to record most of her minutes on the flank. Instead, she played as an out-and-out number nine.
“I think [former head coach Melissa Phillips] was looking to play me as a winger, like I had played previously in Scotland, but, with the injuries we had at the start of the season, she knew I could play centre forward and moved me there,” Ewens said.
“I was just happy to be playing, to be honest! I was just looking to get a lot of minutes this season and started really enjoying my football. I was still trying to find my feet with how the team played at the start, but I think I pushed on and felt really comfortable playing as a number nine.
“The players around me made it really enjoyable. There are a lot of good players that you can link up with, so it was nice. I really enjoyed playing centre forward – you want to score every week and that’s the feeling you’re striving for when you’re trying to help the team.
“It’s nice to get the Golden Boot – but it’s a credit to the players and staff around me who helped me score the goals. I honestly think it’s a team achievement, more than anything.”
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