This weekend sees the arrival of recently crowned Women’s Championship winners, Manchester United Women FC, to Princes Park as Millwall Lionesses face the Red Devils in our final league home game of the season.
The visitors need no introduction to those in attendance as they have been one of the names in the women’s game this season. Eclipsing all those around them and being in the top two for the duration of the 2018-2019 Women’s Championship campaign, United have been relentless against all those who have come up against them and have bloodied the noses of a number of Women’s Super League clubs also. With an amazing sixteen wins and one draw from eighteen games already, Casey Stoney’s side have been worthy champions and there is much hype around this game from both sets of fans.
The earlier league meeting between the two was a humbling 8-0 defeat for our Lionesses and although the away side will be heavy favourites going into this game, Chris Phillips’ side are a different team to the one who started the season and Millwall will be looking to ensure their final game at Princes Park this season will be a positive one.
Recent signing Georgia Robert has been an instant hit at the Millwall Lionesses since her move from Lewes Women FC.
A strong and tough tackling defender who never shies from a tackle, Robert has fitted in superbly into the Millwall back-line and has already formed effective partnerships with Ylenia Priest, Grace Neville and the rest of those in Lionesses defence.
Being an ever-present in the squad since her debut with Aston Villa Ladies, Robert goes from strength to strength each game and with bags of experience that will only improve our developing squad, the centre-back will be an integral part of Chris Phillips' plans for future campaigns to come.
In March 2018, Manchester United announced their intentions to form a women's football team. Manchester United Women Football Club were founded on 28 May 2018, following the club's successful application to join the newly-formed 2018–19 FA Women's Championship. It marked the club's return to women's football after a thirteen-year absence, following Manchester United's disbandment of their women's set-up back in 2005 to focus on youth team football; though the club's academy continued via the Manchester United Foundation, with the likes of Izzy Christiansen and Katie Zelem being produced by United's Centre of Excellence academy. Casey Stoney was appointed as the club's first head coach on 8 June, with their inaugural 21-player squad announced just over a month later.
The team's first game back was on 19 August 2018, where they won 1–0 in an away game against Liverpool in the FA Women's League Cup, with Lizzie Arnot scoring their first competitive goal in thirteen years. Three weeks later, their opening Championship encounter ended in a 12–0 victory away to Aston Villa. On 17 April 2019, United secured promotion to the FA Women's Super League following a 5–0 win against the same opposition. They clinched the FA Women's Championship title three days later following a 7–0 win at home to Crystal Palace.
With a strong and well equipped side that has been built by Casey Stoney and with plenty of professional resources at their disposal, Manchester United have the potential to be a giant in the women's game and the Women's Super League will be a whole new beast next season with the likes of Ella Toone, Mollie Green and former Lioness Charlie Devlin included in the mix.
Team: Manchester United Women FC
Competition: Women's Championship
Venue: Princes Park
Date: Sunday 28th April