Another wave of departures to the USA ?

Back to the old days when the WPS was alive, there was a good number of English players plying their trade over the other side of the pond : Aluko, Asante, Smith, Scott, Carney plus Bardsley already there. Chapman signed for the Red Star later and Davison joined the WNY Flash and actually won the title with them.

The announcement that Jessica Fishlock the FA WSL player of year is leaving to play in the NWSL ( how similar those names are) is not the best news for us here. But I do not believe we will see the same wave of departure that we saw a few years ago. Those days players have better incentives to stay at home and only Asante has not come back to the WSL as she is playing for Goteborg in Sweden.

This is clearly a positive effect from the FA WSL as otherwise a few more players might be playing in Germany or in Sweden where they had been offered contracts after the WPS collapse. So while it is disappointing to hear about Fishlock’s departure and the difficulties for Bristol to replace her, it is quite a good thing that the FA WSL is stable enough to keep the players and it might be a one-off case.

2 English players are likely to play in the NWSL. Lianne Sanderson drafted by the Boston Brakers and Ashley Baker who was originally going to sign for Lincoln but changed her mind when Bardsley signed.

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Watford v Charlton FA Premier League Cup

I was glad to see a local game yesterday, otherwise it would have meant a long trip to see Cardiff v Brighton, that game ended with a 2-0 for Cardiff by the way.

So off we went to Berkhamsted, a short road trip  30 miles each way from Terminal 5, as usual with Pat and James in the car, it is always enjoyable to share a trip with two person who are so knowledgeable about women’s football. Between all 3 of use, we have watched probably more than 260 women’s football games in 2012.

The pitch was in good shape despite the horrible weather and the game was very open with both teams creating chances and it went to extra time with the winning goal coming from Gemma Shepherd in the last minute of extra time.

For a full game report please go to http://www.womenssoccerscene.co.uk/ report done by Pat or to http://www.cafcwomen.co.uk/news/charlton-1-0-watford-641.php with  a report done by David.

I certainly enjoy going to Watford as they are a very friendly club, their players are among my favorites like Cally Rowell who played about  10 years at Arsenal before moving to Watford. I was also pleased to see Shelby Hills who is coming back slowly from her operation after a bad injury last year. Shelby did not get much playing time at Doncaster and that was not fair imo.

Overall a very enjoyable afternoon despite the cold and rain.

Middlesex v Gillingham COE U17

With the weather back to normal, I was able to see a game today and my original choice was the Arsenal Chelsea U17 but it was called off. Instead I went to see my “local” team Middlesex, they play a 20 minutes bus ride from my workplace. That team is managed by a coach whose work I really appreciate and rate. I think she works with the right idea about football and develops player so that they can play proper football.

On paper the game was a mismatch with Middlesex 3rd on the table and fighting with Arsenal and Chelsea for the title and Gillingham currently bottom. The final score reflects the difference in quality between the teams but credit to Gills, they tried very hard to build up play and score goals despite being under the cosh.
How many times do you see games a bit one sided where the weaker teams tries to outmuscles the opposition to compensate its weaknesses or just boots the ball away. Well none of this today, a proper game of football.

I hope all the girls can transition in reserves and senior football next year and can carry on developing their game. There are some very good potential among those girls and I could bet one of them will make it into the WSL Div 1 in 2 or 3 years.
Final score Middlesex 5 Gillingham 0

FA Women’s Cup 3rd round draw

Middlesbrough v Sunderland
Charlton Athletic v Oxford United
Newcastle United v Plymouth Argyle
Coventry City v Morecambe
Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City
Reading v Brighton & Hove Albion
Portsmouth v Queens Park Rangers
Ipswich Town v Aston Villa
Barnet v Yeovil Town
Leafield Athletic v Sporting Club Albion
Preston North End v Millwall Lionesses
Swindon Town v Gillingham
Leeds United v West Ham United
Manchester City v Sheffield FC
Derby County v Watford
Sheffield United Community v Nottingham Forest or Bradford City

Ties to be played on Sunday 3rd February 2013, kick-off 2pm. The winners will collect £400 each. The FA need to  do some work on the prize money side.

U17 COE National Cup

Some very interesting results last Saturday in the U17 Cup, big away wins for Blackburn, Lincoln and Arsenal. Col U beating Man United as well.

Cambridge 0 – 5 Lincoln
Middlesex 0 – 1 Aston Villa
Chelsea 0 – 5 Blackburn Rovers
Everton 2 -1 Brighton
Colchester 1 – 0 Manchester United
Derby County 2 – 1 Birmingham
Oxford Utd 1 – 0 Sheffield Utd
Bristol Acad. 0 – 6 Arsenal

The draw is to be done very soon.

Watford v Coventry 1-0

A very entertaining game between two well organised and hard working team. Nothing much to seperate those really. Zoe Teasdale scoring the only goal in the game late in the game getting a rebound from Susan Wood’s save.

The referee was well entertaining as well, get on with it, no way etc….very frequently used. I also noticed a lot of swearing from certain players, when I mean a lot like 20, 30 times during the game.

The game today was a credit to the Women’s Premier League. Two good teams that worked extremely hard not to concede any easy shot or cross. The game was played in a good spirit with some meaty challenges that could have ended in booking but the referee looked reluctant to book players. Finishing did make the difference with Coventry having a 6 yard shot well saved by Lauren Davey with 5 minutes to go while the score was still 0-0. It is those small details that makes the difference in the end.

Personally I went to the game to see how Hayley and Becky were doing with Coventry, both girls used to play for Arsenal and it is always interesting to catch up on their development once they have left the club. Unfortunately Becky didn’t get on but we were treated to 90 quality minutes from Hayley which I enjoyed.

My FA WSL 2012 team of the year

This is based on the 19 WSL League and cup games I have attended this season. I have obviously seen Chelsea Arsenal and Bristol a lot more times than any other teams for geographical reasons.

So my team is biased towards them because  I have seen their players in action more often. There is no left back  because I don’t remember any outstanding performance in the games I’ve seen this season but I have put two left footed midfield players to compensate for it.

GK Mary Earps Doncaster Belles
An explosive goalkeeper, did very well in a tough season for her club side. Also the England U19 number 1.

RB Dunia Susi Chelsea Ladies
Very consistent and also bring attacking options down the flank.

CB Jemma Rose Bristol Academy
So strong in one on one situation, excellent header and can score from long range as well.

CB Sophie Ingle Chelsea Ladies
Very reliable and tidy in the position, won many headers and battles.

DM Chloe Jones Liverpool Ladies
A delighful and powerful left foot, works very hard and provide balance to her team.

CM Jo Potter Birmingham City Ladies
Another excellent left footed player. Superb passing technique and eye-foot coordination.

DM Jess Fishlock Bristol Academy
Best player of the year by a mile. Nuff said.

AM Jordan Nobbs Arsenal Ladies
A very intelligent player who gets the timing right, can play one touch football and finally found a starting place this year.

RW Lucy Staniforth Lincoln Ladies
Set pieces delivery created so many goals. Accuracy power everything you need, she delivered time and time again for the whole year.

CF Jodie Taylor Birmingham City Ladies
She is powerful, she is fast and has an eye for the goal. Combined well with all the other forwards and midfield players from Blues.

LW Rachel Yankey Arsenal Ladies
As consistent as ever on her left wing. Evergreen.

For the player of the year 2012, there is only one possible winner and it is Jessica Fishlock.  I am still awaiting Hope Powell’s explanation why she left her out of the Team GB squad.

Especially you know that she could definitely have done something on the Canada game for example.