This Mothering Sunday sees our Millwall Lionesses return to Princes Park after the recent international break where we face Gemma Davies’ Aston Villa Ladies in the FA Women’s Championship.
Although the visitors find themselves in eighth place in the second tier of women’s football, their form since the turn of the year has been excellent. Their narrow 1-0 home defeat in the FA Cup at the hands of WSL team West Ham United was the first time they have lost in 2019. Their 2-0 home win and 2-2 away draw with promotion chasing Charlton Athletic and Durham FC respectively shows how they can be a match for any team in the Championship on their day.
The earlier meeting between the two this season at Boldmere St Michael saw Villa run out 2-0 winners and also saw a goal of the season contender from Amy West to secure the victory. As is well documented, Chris Phillips’ young side has matured and grown massively since this earlier clash and with both sides playing with an air of confidence, this promises to be an exciting game for all the fans.
Chris Phillips’ Millwall Lionesses continue to impress and excite as the season goes on and one of the players who displays all of the hard work the whole squad is putting in is Lucy Fitzgerald.
Being an ever-present since the start of the season, it is easy to forget that the explosive and energetic winger only recently turned eighteen at the end of the December last year and her strength, courage and skill on the ball has the fans in attendance at Princes Park on the edge of their seats every game.
Along with Grace Neville, Fitzgerald has been rightly rewarded with a call up to the England Under-19’s squad for the upcoming UEFA Women’s U19 European Championship elite round qualifiers. The two are just two examples of the superb coaching and tutelage of the Lionesses’ backroom team and Fitzgerald has a bright future in the women’s game.
Aston Villa Ladies Football Club was formed in 1973 as Solihull FC. When Aston Villa asked for help in forming a ladies team in 1989, Solihull responded. The club agreed to change their name in 1996 to become the officially recognised ladies team of Aston Villa. In 1998 the Senior Team won promotion to the Northern Division of the FA Women's Premier League.
Also reaching the 1995 League Cup Final. After a few seasons in the Women’s Premier Northern Division finishing mid table Aston Villa took full responsibility of the Ladies team in 2007 and have fully integrated them into the Aston Villa family. The ladies won promotion from the Northern division in 2010-11 season to the National Division, 2011-12, the ladies team finished 3rd in the National division their highest ever finish. Aston Villa won the FA Women’s league cup, 2012-13 in its final year of the winter pyramid.
With players such as Kerry Welsh leading the line and Jodie Hutton in the midfield producing fourteen goals between them in all competitions, Villa will be looking to finish the 2018-19 season in style and eyeing a possible top half finish.
Team: Aston Villa Ladies
Competition: Women's Championship
Venue: Princes Park
Date: Sunday 31st March