Welcome to Princes Park for today's Continental League Cup game
Here is your complementary e-programme.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Arsenal Women, their staff, directors and fans to the ‘New Den’ for the Continental Cup group fixture.
This will be our last game before the Christmas break and it looks like we will have increased crowds, with many local schools and youth clubs making the trip to support both teams.
We welcome them all.
We have noticed that there are a lot of young boys watching the women's game. We don’t have any official statistics, but anecdotally, more boys are attending women's football games and watching their sisters play in grassroots games than previously. Traditionally, the major demographic of spectators to women’s games has been made up of dads taking their daughters to watch their favourite players. They then brought along their mums and sisters and the extended family, who wouldn’t normally attend the men’s game, for whatever reason. What’s exciting is that brothers are now coming along and sometimes missing their games to watch women’s football or their sister’s game.
We are happy to pioneer the ‘Boys watching Girls football’ campaign and hope we can help to drive the attendances up at these wonderful games that our mums, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces participate in. Attendance is key to bringing the women’s game to the wider audience and put us in a position where we can demand more exposure in the media and compete on an equal footing with other footballers and sports professionals out there. So, thank you everyone who has made the effort to be here to support both teams this evening. I have no doubt that it will be an exciting and competitive game.
Millwall Lionesses and Arsenal Women are the original pioneers in the women's game, playing their first fixtures more than 30 years ago. Millwall has produced so many talented players that have gone on to represent England at the highest level and Arsenal are probably the most successful women's club to date - both pioneers in their own way. The links between the two clubs continue with several of the Lionesses starting out at Arsenal and of course our management team, headed by Pedro and Chris, also spent several successful years there. The paths of the two clubs have taken different directions, but at Millwall, we are determined to compete in the women's game with the same pioneering spirit shown 30 years ago.
Millwall Lionesses are Pride, Passion and Community and the girls that have been playing for the Lionesses since the start of the season are all that and more. Personally, I am extremely proud to be associated with all those individuals who make up Millwall Lionesses from the S&C coaches, the media chaps, management staff and all the players. They are an outstanding group of people. Lets look forward to the next 30 years and make sure we reclaim our place as pioneers.
Good luck to both teams - but go on Lionesses - show them your ROAR.
Good evening and welcome to Princes Park for the last time in 2018.
Tonight we entertain Arsenal and I trust the short journey round the M25 has been pleasant for all players, staff and supporters.
As we approach Christmas, it’s time to reflect on the first half of the season. Although we haven’t achieved our first win yet, there has been plenty of positives that make me go into the break with excitement and eagerness to get started in 2019.
It’s easy to forget that 6 months ago this club could have easily disappeared and with the constant hard work and efforts from our chairman and director of football the club is now stabilised and we can look to make further improvements.
But just to recap what we’ve done so far:
Put a squad together in a market where for the first time in women’s football, supply outweighed demand
Putting together a professional football program to align with our young squads school and work commitments
Moved the club to a fantastic stadium the meets and exceeds the requirements to play at the highest level
Implemented a full S&C program for the first team. Thanks to Places for People we have use of brand new state of the art equipment, cardio and recovery facilities.
Thanks to East London Uni we now have the top of the range GPS equipment for the 1st team.
The Lionesses now have a great presence and professional image across all media platforms thanks to the work of the guys from the Millwall Supporters' Club.
I want to also make a special mention to both our media team and Georgie Giddings, our sister club manager. I see the efforts they put in to promote the team and matches. We had a good increase in numbers at our last league game and I hope this continues to increase.
These may all sound like little things, but they have brought the lionesses from the point of collapse to a position where we can now start looking to the future.
In the last few games I also feel we have found the system that suits the team and found positions on the pitch that suit the squad we have. That first win is close and will be no more than what this group deserves for the work ethic, energy and enthusiasm that they bring. They are also a group that learns quickly. From all the matches we’ve played, the staff and I can point out areas to improve and the team is willing to listen, take our direction on board and try to bring our suggestions into the next game.
On behalf of my staff and players I’d like to wish our amazing fans a very merry Christmas and let’s hope for a successful new year.
Your support as always means everything to us and we will keep working hard for you.
1st Team Manager
SETL is a company which is bringing game changing technology to the financial services. SETL's investors include some of the worlds largest companies such as Citibank, Deloitte, Computershare and Credit Agricole. Each of these investors recognises the potential for SETL to do things differently and in a way which will transform the way that finance works. In pursuing this vision, SETL is not afraid to challenge established positions. To say that something has 'always been done that way' is not a good reason to consider better ways to do things. SETL is very much a challenger. It is a growing team of dedicated individuals who are willing to take on the big companies and organisations. No challenge is unopposed and SETL has had to face opposition who are well resourced and who want to protect their positions.
The Lionesses will face challenges of a similar nature - big clubs with big reputations and big budgets thinking they have a right of way. SETL sees in the Lionesses a spirit which will not be dominated by others, is fiercely loyal to its traditions and will meet those challenges with skill, hard work and determination.
We wish the Lionesses good luck in their game today against Arsenal. SETL is proud to be a supporter and sponsor of the Lionesses and looks forward to a successful season.
Each game, one of the three club captains will update us on how the squad is preparing and how they see the season progressing.
This week it is the turn of midfielder, Georgie Giddings.
Hello and welcome to Princes Park this evening for our last game before the Christmas break. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our visiting team and the supporters of Arsenal Women FC. I would also like to congratulate and welcome our competition entrants who are mascots for today’s game. I know myself and the girls had a great time looking over the entries and there are some really great designs, some of which you can see in tonights programme. I would also like to welcome a group of individuals who were a part of the session we did at The Lions Centre for Disability with Millwall Football Club in aid of Kick It Out’s 25th Anniversary.
The first half of the season has surely flown by and at the half way mark we probably aren’t where we would like to be in the league table, but we have made some significant improvements and the experiences for some of the younger players have been crucial to helping such a young side develop.
Having earned a well deserved draw against Sheffield, to then lose 2-0 to Lewes midweek was difficult. This season has seen a rollercoaster of results for not only us but across the league in general and the girls have done incredibly well up until now. Millwall Lionesses are now a group of players who are a team, not just 26 individuals playing with the Millwall logo on their shirts. This first 4 months has been about developing and learning, but now with the girls working hard on the pitch as well as off of it we can look to take the next step and put some points on the board and decreasing the goal difference.
Tonights game against Arsenal comes at a much better time than had we have had to play them earlier in the season. Arsenal are renowned for building talented teams and can rotate players without sacrificing technical ability so the game tonight will be another tough lesson for our young squad but one they will no doubt relish as it is an opportunity 99% of the players in our team are yet to experience. It gives some of the younger players a chance to play against some top senior international players and it is something I know they won’t take lightly.
I hope you enjoy the game and thank you as always for your support!
The Lionesses end 2018 with arguably the most challenging fixture of them all. Arsenal at home
After impressive performances recently the side are playing with a lot more confidence. Chris spoke about earlier on in the season about the way he wanted his side to play can be clearly seen. However a lack of goals and chances leaves Millwall still in the same position having picked up just two points this season.
A fair few of the Millwall said will need no introduction into what arsenal are about as a few of the players came through the Arsenal Academy and played under Chris at Arsenal. Now is there chance to prove to the new Gunners boss that they are good enough to play at this level and in what is expected to have a big crowd perform on a big night in Dartford.
Millwall lost 0-2 in their last fixture against Lewes in a game a draw would have been a fair result but two second half goals sent the south coast side home happy as they carried on their impressive start to the first season in the second tier of womens football.
Millwall are already out of the competition and this game will be a chance for the players to play for a bit of pride and prove themselves against some very highly experienced internationals. It’s not known what kind of side Arsenal will put out but it will be a team the boss thinks can beat Millwall.
Lia Cataldo has played in a variety of positions this season and in recent weeks this has seen her playing in a wide right berth. We caught up with her to find out what she has made to the start of this season.
"It has made me more versatile player and given me a better understanding of a defenders duties, I feel that I am developing in the position and will continue to learn and progress."
Lia was the first Lioness to score this season in our league game away to London Bees. We asked her how it felt to score her first senior goal and the first of the season for the new Lionesses. "I felt proud scoring my first senior goal and I hope it’s the first of many."
Thinking ahead to the rest of the season, we were curious on any personal milestones Lia has set herself or where she sees the rest of the season going. "My goals are to assist the team in climbing up the league and to start winning matches."
Today's game means Lia will face her old team and she seemed eager to get on the pitch and show them how she has developed. "I am excited to play against arsenal and want us to put in a good team performance and show what progress we have made as a team from the start of the season."
In case you’ve been sleeping for the past 20 years Arsenal are one of the most established women’s football clubs in the world and are the biggest in England. After a bit of a slow few years for the gunners where they went from winning back to back league titles and fa cups to achieving neither the gunners are back on their form and look to push for a title this season.
Their squad is jam packed full of high quality international players and will prove a real test for Millwall tonight. It’s unlikely they will start their strongest quad but with good squad depth and a good manager they won’t rest too much.
Arsenal who are already through will go into the quarter finals and look to progress even further in this competition as they look to stay on track to complete an impressive treble. The last time the two sides met Arsenal won 1-0 against a very different Millwall side. It will be interesting to see how tonight goes.
This season we want you to be our DJ on matchdays. So throughout the season, we want you to send in your song choices that you want to be heard at the game.
It couldn’t be easier to pick a song, so tweet us your choice using #RadioRoar or look out for our Instagram story to request your favourite track. Get your requests in by 5pm two days before kick off and you could be on our matchday playlist for the next home match at Princes Park.
For the last 25 years Kick It Out has been at the heart of the drive towards equality, inclusion and cohesion for everyone who plays, watches or works in football.
The organisation started in 1993 as ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’ and has evolved into an organisation which – working alongside its funders, partners and supporters – fights ALL forms of discrimination in the game we love.
Twenty-five years ago, if you were involved in football and were Black, Asian, a woman, disabled, LGBT or belonged to any religious or minority group whatsoever, there was a strong chance you would have been abused, harassed or even assaulted.
However, since its inception, Kick It Out has provided a clear, independent voice within the game to challenge discrimination and exclusion, as well as education for professional players, clubs, fans, grassroots organisations and beyond. The organisation also provides mentoring and guidance to help underrepresented groups participate in football and secure opportunities to develop a career in the game.
Kick It Out has established an equality framework for professional clubs, supporting the development of equality practices and policies, and enabled more effective reporting and investigating of complaints of discriminatory abuse through its pioneering reporting app.
Despite 25 years of progress, hatred, prejudice, abuse and discrimination are still evident in our society and in football.
In the 2018/19 season and beyond we want everyone involved in football to continue to campaign for equality and challenge discrimination, while playing a part in shaping a fair and inclusive future for everyone who loves the game.
But don’t forget to recognise how far we’ve come. Let’s kick racism and discrimination out of football – together.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can get involved in Kick It Out’s 25-year anniversary, contact Robert Brown, Kick It Out's Events Coordinator on Robert@kickitout.org, or keep up to date with the organisation’s work by following on social media.
In order to help celebrate Kick it Out's special 25 year anniversary we opened out a competition to local primary schools to see who could create a special poster to commemorate all the wonderful things that Kick it Out stand for and do for the sporting community. Your winners are below:
1st Place & Winner: Oakley A
Dartford Bridge Community School
Runner Up: Ellie W
Runner Up: Verity A
Dartford Bridge Community School
Runner Up: Jimmy C
Dartford Bridge Community School
A high tempo first half was followed by a defensive masterclass in the second as the Millwall Lionesses held visiting Sheffield United to a 1-1 draw at Princes Park. This exciting and pulsating game was the perfect advertisement for the Women's game and had it all: skill, flair, determination and grit and left the fans in the stadium on the edge of their seats.
The game started brightly for the Lionesses and it was the energetic Annie Rossiter who nearly gave the home side the early lead in the 3rd minute. A gorgeous pass was played over the Blades' back-line and the young winger was through on goal, but a late offside flag was raised which stopped the momentum in its tracks.
Only two minutes later, it was United who were left asking how they had not taken the lead. A simple Georgie Giddings' header to Ylenia Priest in the 5th minute was misjudged and the young defender slipped as she went to meet the ball. Tania Marsden glided into the opposition penalty area and somehow put the ball wide when she just had Chloe Sansom to beat.
The game continued to be played at a fast pace and on the 27th minute a dangerous looking cross came into the Lionesses box, but the ball was cleared well by Fran Ali.
If it had not been for the superb reflexes of Chloe Sansom on the half hour mark, then a curling effort from the edge of the area would have seen the visitors go 1-0 up. Captain Leanne Cowan was beaten and a superb shot looked destined to find the back of the net, but the Millwall goalkeeper was equal to it and tipped it around the post to the delight of the home fans in attendance.
It was the 37th minute when we saw the first goal of the game and it was to the Millwall Lionesses. A high corner was lofted into the penalty area and defender, Ylenia Priest was highest to head the ball past Brooks in the Blades' goal. The visiting Sister Club and all the supporters in the stands roared with approval as the Lionesses took the lead in a game for the first time this season.
The Lionesses nearly doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Evie Clarke found the ball in the visiting penalty area after some lovely work from Lucy Fitzgerald. Clarke had the ball at her feet, but her touch was just too heavy and cleared from danger by the United back line.
There was a number of tough tackling taking place in the early stages of the second half and both teams were searching for a goal, but it was the visitors who struck to equalise in the 56th minute when Sarri's effort found the back of the net after a period of pressure from the Blades.
The goal rejuvenated United and for the next several minutes Lenny Priest, Gabby Ravenscroft and Chloe Sansom had to be at their absolute best to ensure the Yorkshire side did not take the lead. The 69th minute saw a scramble in the Lionesses penalty, which would've led to a second for the Blades if it had not been for Chloe Sansom.
The visitors continued to pile on the pressure and again a curling effort came close in the 73rd minute, but the ball just went wide of Sansom's far post.
The game continued to be a nervy affair going into the last fifteen minutes and in 90th injury time, the Lionesses thought they were through on goal when Lucy Fitzgerald was through on goal. The young winger looked destined to give the home side their first win of the season, but a late, late offside flag was shown as the game finished a score draw.
This was a great game from both sides and one which both could've staked a claim for the three points, but this was also a great game for Women's football which marks the end of league football at Princes Park for 2018.
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Sansom, Cowan, Bailes, Casley, Priest, Cataldo, Clarke, Giddings, Fitzgerald, Rossiter (Young 76), Ali (Ravenscroft 64)
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Hartshorne, Stenning, Hartford
Sheffield United Starting XI:
Brooks, Pennock, Cox, Ibbotson, Gilliatt, Tierney, S. Barker, Ford (Dixon 57), Sarri, Jones, Marsden (Paul 46)
Sheffield United unused subs: Davies
HIGHLIGHTS | Ylenia Preist's GOAL
Millwall Starting XI:
13. Chloe Sansom
3. Leanne Cowan ©
4. Freya Bailes
6. Ylenia Priest
9. Gabby Ravenscroft
10. Lia Cataldo
11. Evie Clarke
14. Georgie Giddings
17. Lucy Fitzgerald
18. Michelle Young
28. Fran Ali
Subs: Caitlin Hartshorne (GK), Beth Lumsden, Ellie Stenning, Beth Harford, Annie Rossiter, Kalani Peart, Eden Bailey
Arsenal Women Starting XI:
18. Pauline Peyraud-Magnin
15. Katie McCabe
19. Lia Walti
6. Leah Williamson
31. Hannah Dawbarn
7. Danielle van de Donk
24. Ava Kuyken
27. Ruby Grant
17. Lisa Evans
11. Vivienne Miedema
28. Paige Bailey-Gayle
Subs: Sari van Veenendaal, Amelia Hazard, Melisa Ellis, Lachante Paul, Ana Albuquerque
The FA Women’s Championship strongly supports recent FA statements that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse, whether it be based on race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, faith, age, ability or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association. (The FA 0800 085 0508/Kick It Out 020 7253 0162)