Millwall Lionesses travel to London Bees on Saturday looking to remain top of the league. Millwall will be heavily favoured to win this one as London Bees are still yet to pick up a point from their opening 3 league games plus a 7-0 loss to Arsenal in the Continental Cup.
The Lionesses are unbeaten in the league after 3 games winning 2 of their home games and drawing the away game at Doncaster. Saturdays game provides a great opportunity for Millwall to maintain their great start and put them in great shape for a tough week where they will play 3 games in 8 days including facing WSL 1 opposition Arsenal in the Continental cup midweek followed up by another match against the London Bees next Sunday also in the cup.
Players who have played for Both London Bees and Millwall
Leigh Nicol (Millwall)
Amber Gaylor (Millwall)
Billie Brooks (Millwall)
Ocean Rolandsen (London Bees)
Lucy Loomes (London Bees)
Emma Beckett (London Bees)
(There maybe more...)
I managed to speak to Leigh Nicol who played for London Bees before completing her move to Millwall back in February 2016.
Q) A loss in the cup last time out, how important is it that you bounce back this weekend to keep the confidence high?
Leigh: Its really important going into the Bees game that we focus on nothing but doing everything we can to get the 3 points. Our mentality is that we are only as good as our last game and we've had to wait over 2 weeks to get it out our system.
Q) What is your opnion on the FA restructuring the women's league and how will it affect you and Millwall?
Leigh: I think it highlights the last 5 years of WSL 2 football has been fro many clubs, that aren't in a financially comfortable position, potentially a waste of resources, and peoples humbling hard work and dedication to get WSL 2 to the competitive standard that it has grown to be over the past 18 months.
I think that over the next 3 seasons WSL 2 and premier league clubs would naturally be in a position where majority of clubs would start going down the full time route anyway, as that's where clubs are working towards, just not so soon with 10 months preparation to put things in place.
I do however look forward to seeing how the changes can positively affect some others that are in a similar position to myself and have always dreamt about playing full time football, escpecially the talented youngsters coming through the ranks.
With regards to Millwall, the club will be doing everything they can to see if its considerable and sustainable. It could do a lot more damage than good to female teams when this type of money, facilities and staff resources are involved. I think the club need to look at it from every angle to see what's best for everyone at the club and its future. With the men now in the championship, the aim will be of course to sustain that and over 3/4 years become a premiership club. I think with both teams doing so well, its a busy time for everyone involved.
Q) Still a young player yourself, the average age of the starting XI against Brighton was 22.09 years. How important to the team are the more experienced players such as Bonnie, Sarah and Ashlee?
Leigh: Yes, they are massive to us, they keep us calm when we are nervous, bring us down a peg or two when needed but they also know what it takes to pick up points. They are invaluable to us all and probably the 3 most thought of players in the team!
Q) Have you set yourself any targets for this season, If so what are they and have you challenged yourself even more after winning player of the season for the spring series?
Leigh: I only challenge myself to be better every week. I work week by week, my main goal is not to concede as it reflects on the position I play. My personal targets is to be the best version of me and to get the best out of the others. I have no long term targets, just 3 points each game and not conceding.
Q) A long break off since the last game, how important is it that the form and the level of performance has been maintained throughout this long break?
A) Yes, its vital. We haven't has anytime off in about 14 weeks, so we got 3/4 days off initially before the coaching staff worked us hard to prepare us for 3 games in 8 days which we haven't done as a group before. Its a challenging time to keep us fresh but also replicating game intensity in training, which its fair to say we have been working extremely hard.
V London Bees last 5 Results
15/4/17 London Bees 1 Millwall Lionesses 2
5/2/17 Millwall Lionesses 1 London Bees 0
29/6/16 Millwall Lionesses 1 London Bees 1
27/4/16 London Bees 2 Millwall Lionesses 1
22/7/15 Millwall Lionesses 5 London Bees 3
The MSC would like to thank Leigh for taking her time to answer the questions.
Hoping for a win on Saturday for the Lionesses and the boys over in Cardiff. COME ON YOU LIONS!!!