Welcome to Princes Park for today's FA Women's Championship game
Here is your complementary e-programme.
Welcome everyone to Princes Park - The Lionesses' New Den. After the long break, we are so pleased to be back playing football again.
My fellow directors and I would like to extend our welcome to Leicester's directors, management team, players and supporters, all of whom have travelled quite a distance for today’s fixture.
We are returning to our wonderful stadium for our match with Leicester. In this barmy October weather, we fully expect our performance to be as bright as the sunshine. Each performance builds us as a team and cements the bonds between us. I have to say that our second half performance, in our last game here, against Crystal Palace, showed all those in the ' know' that the Lionesses' spirit and confidence is beginning to emerge. Having gone a goal down in the first half, Palace were knocked back by a strong Lionesses' performance, which took the game to them in the second half. In the end, a 1-1 draw was kind to our opponents. If the team can carry that spirit into this game, Leicester will find us a very tough proposition.
In a week where Gareth Southgate has promoted young players to full international status (he or someone in his team has been looking over our shoulders) we should consider the strength of youth that we have in our own ranks. The only thing that holds us back is our underestimating our own potential. The potential in the Lionesses lies exactly in its youth, its energy and its perseverance. Coupled with belief we are unstoppable. We should all be excited about the game today. I am pleased to let you know that we have had 4 international call ups, from our squad and in one game where 4 goals were scored 3 of them were from our girls - Lionesses - Millwall ones at that!
Lets get behind our Lionesses and roar them to victory - be loud and encouraging. Every person in the stands today back every single player in blue on the pitch and keep at it until the final whistle sounds. Its in all of our interests to do so.
Off the pitch we are working hard to increase our sponsorships and support of the girls through increased attendance. We are happy to welcome groups, local schools and clubs to all of our matches. They will be a exciting afternoon out. If you would like to sponsor any aspect of the club, individual players or the match ball, for example, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
We are an ambitious club and looking to grow. We have wonderful plans for the future and first class staff on board, from top to bottom and left to right. We will do things differently - we are different. We will be novel and we are forward thinking - but we know that our players and our community are our greatest assets. We will always do the right thing and our entire team is dedicated to make that happen.
We always will play pride, passion with our community at heart.
Enjoy the game!
I wish you warm welcome again to Princes Park, our Lionesses' Den. Today we entertain Leicester and I hope all their players, staff and supporters have had a safe and pleasant journey.
I hope you all recognised the improvements in my team in our last match versus Crystal Palace. I felt we started the game well, creating chances and showed more confidence and belief. I felt we were unlucky not to take all 3 points, hopefully that’s something we can achieve today. Your support as always was fantastic that day. Both I and my young team really appreciate it and we look forward to hearing you cheer us on again.
With no games over the last few weeks it has enabled us to recover players such as Riva Casley and Beth Harford. It with great pleasure that they return to the squad today. Another few players like Leanne Cowan, Kalani Peart and Ellie Stenning are also very close to returning to the squad too.
1st Team Manager
We have also had a few players away with England and still have two away in Florida on national Lioness duty. I stay in contact with the players while they’re away and know Lia and Annie are having a great camp. Another proud moment for the club was to see the England U19s win 4-0 last weekend with 3 of the goals coming from our Lionesses, Gabby & Lucy. I think it’s proof that our concept of playing the young players week in week out is accelerating their development and assisting the England youth teams to produce better results.
But let’s now focus on today’s challenge. Leicester come here with confidence after defeating London Bees. They have great pace in their attack and a wonderful player in centre midfield. Freda is one of those players who can control a game if given the opportunity. I saw up close what she is capable of during our time together at Arsenal. I always wish all the young players I’ve brought through the best, but let’s hope we can keep her quiet today.
As always my team will show the 'Pride of a Lioness' when they go out on the pitch today, showing passion for the club and the Millwall community. So the last thing from me is to say “let’s go to work” and I hope you enjoy the game.
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 challSETL 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 Leicester City. 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 defender, Leanne Cowan.
Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to Princess Park for today’s game; after what seems like years we’re finally back! Thank you to all of the fans who have travelled to today’s game and I’d like to extend our warm wishes to the Leicester team, staff and their travelling fans.
It’s been a hard couple of weeks of training with Ali to prepare for what should be an entertaining game. I’d like to congratulate Gabby Ravenscroft and Lucy Fitzgerald who had a successful qualifying campaign with England U19’s last week away in Malta; and also, Annie Rossiter and Lia Cataldo who are away with the England U18’s in Florida and unfortunately miss today’s game.
It’s been a very intense start to the season with loads of games in a short period of time; I’d like to thank the fans for sticking with us and supporting us while we find our feet. I think they will have been just as proud as I have over some of the performances that this young side has put out. We were unlucky against Bees to concede so late on, and not to take all 3 points against Crystal Palace in our last league game. We know that if we keep working hard and putting in good performances the results will soon follow.
Let’s go girls! MIIIILLLLLLLL!
Millwall are back in action as they host newly promoted Leicester City at Princes Park. The Lionesses, who picked up their first point of the season in the last game before the international break at home to Crystal Palace, will look to pick up from where they left off as they now go in search of a first league win of the season. Gabby Ravenscroft's second half goal cancelled out former Millwall striker Ashlee Hincks' opener, in a game Millwall felt they could have got all three points from. They now turn their attention to a Leicester side who have had a fairly average start to life in the Championship and will hope they can get three points on the road this Sunday.
Leicester so far this season have won two and lost two of their opening four games and currently sit in a rather respectable 5th place. The Foxes have also picked up one point from their three games in the WSL Cup. Leicester so far this season have shown that they know where the back of the net is, as the big hitters have scored an impressive nine goals in their opening four games and in their last outing they were victorious in their home game against London Bees. The side from the Midlands will look to gain win number three when they make the trip to Dartford against a Lionesses side who are slowly improving game after game.
The international break saw four Millwall players represent their country. Lucy Fitzgerald and Gabby Ravenscroft went away with the England under-19's, while Annie Rossiter and Lia Cataldo were away with the under-18's. Gabby and Lucy both netted for the under-19's in their wins while Lia got an assist and Annie made her England debut. All four returned to training and are available for selection ahead of the visit of Leicester. A good international break for Millwall!
Leanne Cowan has been back in training since overcoming her injury and the captain will be in a race against time to ensure she can make the squad on Sunday. The team have been working hard over the break to keep their match fitness high, Gabby who scored last time out and with England will be looking to continue her good form and get another one on Sunday, one that may hopefully give the Lionesses the three points.
Centre attacking midfielder Lia Cataldo was brought in from the Arsenal development side after impressing now current first team manger Chris Phillips during her time there. Lia got off the mark when the side lost 2-1 to London Bees and her eagerness to close down the ball and get the ball off her opponent got her a well deserved goal. The midifielder will be looking to add to this tally with her superb performances.
Lia has made herself a key asset in this young Lionesses side, her attacking ability is second to none and has a wand of a pass on her. The young midfielder links up well with Gabby Ravenscroft up top, both ex-Arsenal of course and they have a clear understanding between the two that will only get stronger.
Lia will hope she can get on the score sheet again Sunday, as the Lionesses go in hunt of their first league win of the season and start a climb up the league table in preparation for Tottenham next weekend.
A win for Leicester before the International break as they swept aside London Bees 4-2, the Foxes will be looking for more of the same as they look to sneak into the top four. This is Leicester's debut season in the Championship and there will be no pressure on them to achieve great things, however, the club will want to finish as high up as possible.
Leicester have managed one clean sheet in the league so far this season, conceding nine in their opening four games. The defensive areas is where they would have worked on over the break to ensure the side don't allow goals to flood into the net as they have done recently. On the positive note for the visitors they've also been able to score a fair few as well.
It's their debut season in the Women's FA Championship and Leicester are not making a bad account of themselves as they look to prove and test themselves against very well established teams.
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 on Friday and you could be on our matchday playlist for the next home match at Princes Park.
After 10 days away with England's under 19's Lucy Fitzgerald is extremely pleased with how it went and the experienced she gained from it. "Both games went really well, The team performed well and we showed signs of improvement throughout the whole week. We scored a lot of goals during the 10 days, something we know as a team we are capable of, it was just about putting it into the game"
Lucy and Gabby both represented Millwall for the England U19s and both were on the score sheet. It was a proud moment for Lucy and her family. "Yeah of course, it was my first ever international goal for England so it was a very proud moment for me and my parents who text me straight after the game to send their congratulations. The team after the game were also full of praise which was a nice feeling."
After making the step up to the first team at Millwall this season, Lucy says it has had a lot of impact on her performances for England. "Playing for the first team week in week out of course helps, it’s helped me physically massively, playing against fully grown women for Millwall then playing against my age group for England has definitely done me a lot of good."
Now back and training with Millwall on preparation for Sunday’s clash against Leicester, Lucy feels the team have prepared well despite the break and are raring to go. "We’ve been working a lot on our possession and shape to ensure we get it right on the day, the team are working very hard and people are keeping their heads high. The tempo of each session is very high and there is constant improvement individually but also as a team."
The last two games for Millwall in terms of performance have been positive and with all due respect to Leicester, Lucy admits the team see Sunday’s game as an opportunity to get their first league win of the season. "It’s clear to see that our performances each week are improving and we are definitely playing more as a team, the team are confident the win will come in due course, hopefully for us it will be Sunday."
It's an honour to represent your country at any level Lucy admits and says the difference in style of play and physicality helps her become more versatile. "We knew when we got there the sides we were facing were never going to be of the highest quality but would have a lot of team spirit. Saying that the Slovakian team that we played were a very physical side, they weren’t technically as good as the women’s championship but matched the league in terms of physicality."
Lia and Annie are still away representing the under 18s and Lucy has been in contact with them since and says they are doing themselves and the club proud. "I’ve been able to speak to Annie about the games, they’re winning which is a bonus but both are playing well, Lia got an assist while Annie made her debut. They’re developing well, they are still young and this experience will help them a lot."
Life in the first team and in the Women’s Championship is not an easy step up when you make the jump from the development side but Lucy states while it is physically challenging, she is loving every minute. "It’s been challenging of course but I’m learning every day and I’m becoming a better player because of it. I think having such a young team makes it easier for people to get comfortable quicker so we can gel as a team quicker, we have a few experienced players here already but we are all learning off of each other."
To mark the start of a new era for Women’s football in England, the FA has commissioned new branding for the Super League, Championship and National Leagues. They are part of the FA’s ‘Gameplan for Growth,’ which has the objective of increasing the number of people watching and participating in women’s football.
Design studio Nomad, which created the new logos, was keen to move away from a traditional football or sports brand, and purposely avoided silhouettes of women playing the game. “It’s about creating something that girls would aspire to have on a t-shirt or bag,” explained Nomad’s Terry Stephens.
This growing audience of girls aged 7 – 15 watching and playing football, as we have experienced ourselves at Lewes, were integral to the research for the new branding. “The thing that struck us was that their tastes were far more mature than we thought,” remarked Stephens.
The Super League logo is an “S” made up of red lines, reminiscent of a “superhero” symbol.
A hexagonal shape with a single point at the top was chosen to represent that this is the “pinnacle of the league”.
The Championship logo is made of blue-green concentric circles around the letter “C” imitating a “springboard,” recognising that the league could be seen as a gateway into professional football.
The National league logo is a blue-purple “N” with two interlocking sides representing the “comradery, community spirit and oneness” that goes through the league.
The rebrand comes at a time when there is an increasing interest in women’s football and is part of a wider campaign about “the power of the game,” Stephens says.
“Football has so many amazing benefits and so many of them are often unseen or unspoken. The campaign is about discovering those benefits of women’s football, and encouraging more girls to get into football, with the possibility of playing professionally.”
Gabby Ravenscroft to the rescue as the Lionesses picked up their first league point of the season at the third attempt.
Millwall started well and looked as if they meant business, Gabby Ravenscroft would have hoped she could have done better when two chances fell her way, the striker however was unable to convert but a bright start from the Lionesses was positive signs for Chris and his staff, a lot different to how the side had started in their previous games.
Despite the bright start from the Lionesses which had seem them have two very good chances, they once again fell behind and it was none other than former Lioness Ashlee Hincks. The experienced striker showed her class when she was able to dink the ball over an on rushing Chloe Sansom before having an empty net to poke home and give the visitors the lead, one Millwall would be punching themselves over as they started so brightly.
Millwall were forced to make an early change as Ellie Stenning went down, the defender was not able to continue as she had to be taken off for Beth Lumsden, everyone hopes that the injury suffered is not serious and that she recovers well and is back for the next game.
From the goal the visitors grew in confidence and took control of the game for large spells in the first half, Hincks kept causing trouble for Millwall's backline but Millwall's defence stood strong and refused to let her have time on the ball. The game eventually got a bit tasty as Hannah Mackenzie went into the book after a challenge on Clarke, but it was the visitors who went into the lead at half time.
If the first half was anything to go by, the second half should be a blinder, Millwall will say they undeservedly went into the break a goal down but remained to fight as they went in search of an equaliser and their first league point of the season. It was Millwall who started strongly, looking to get an equaliser immediately and get level, They showed good play on the wings as they looked to exploit Palace's backline and aim to get in behind.
The equaliser then eventually came and it was Gabby Ravenscroft who levelled for the Lionesses, WHAT A GOAL it was, you wont see many better well struck goals, The striker picked the ball up outside the box and smashed it straight into the top corner, it was a pearler and one that has been coming to Gabby and was truly deserved after no luck over the last few games. The Lionesses were now level as they looked to push on, in hope that they would find that winner.
Millwall Lionesses then continued their constant pressure on the Palace's backline as they wanted more from the game, Chris from the side-line urged his players on and aimed to get them pumped, the team were really working together and working for each other, our defence remained tight at the back, the midfield were working hard to get back and go forward and the forward line were creating space.
Annie Rossiter came on for the Lionesses at half time and from that moment was Millwall's greatest spark, her energy and desire to get forward really drove Millwall and became a pain for Palace to defend against, Annie almost won it for Millwall in the late stages, but it wasn't meant to be.
The game ended level and both managers will feel their side could have nicked it at points in the game. It's 3 weeks off for the Lionesses now who look to regroup and go again on the 14th.
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Sansom, Mackie, Priest, Stenning, Powell, Auguste (Rossiter 45), Cataldo, Clarke, Fitzgerald (Lumsden 13), Giddings, Ravenscroft
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Taylor, Charles, Bailes, Guzowska
Crystal Palace Starting XI:
Lynch, Mackenzie, Butler, Holoaway, Nuttall (Chandler 67), Georgiou, Watling (Keogh 82), Whinnett, Hincks, Balfour(Nash 82), Burr
Crystal Palace unused subs: Davenport, Collins, Delgado, Haydock
HIGHLIGHTS | Goals
Millwall Starting XI:
13. Chloe Sansom
2. Chantelle Mackie
4. Freya Bailes
5. Riva Casley
6. Ylenia Priest
8. Beth Lumsden
9. Gabby Ravenscroft
11. Evie Clarke
12. Beth Powell
14. Georgie Giddings ©
17. Lucy Fitzgerald
Subs: Grace Taylor, Jasmine Auguste, Beth Harford, Asanteni Charles, Eden Bailey, Shawna Harvey
Leicester Starting XI:
1. Demi Lambourne
4. Nicole Nymeow
5. Holly Morgan ©
7. Sophie Domingo
9. Mel Johnson
10. Rosie Axten
11. Freda Ayisi
16. Sherry McCue
19. Natalie Johnson
22. Serena Fletcher
23. Lucy Johnson
Subs: Sarah Jackson, Charlotte Greenwood, Charlotte Clarke, Leigh Dugmore, Maddy Cusack
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)