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Rutherford: Palace have given me the opportunity to play with freedom

14 November 2019

This Sunday (November 17th), Crystal Palace Women will welcome London City Lionesses for a league clash as part of the FA's Women's Weekend initiative, which is set to be another landmark moment in the growing popularity of the women’s game.

The weekend falls during the men’s international break. Therefore, Eagles missing Selhurst Park that weekend can get their red and blue fix by heading down to Hayes Lane, the home of Bromley F.C., to see how our women's team fare in their 2pm kick-off.

The Crystal Palace programme caught up with one of the team's new summer signings, Ella Rutherford, earlier in the season- with the England Under-19 international joining on loan from Women's Super League, Bristol City, on Deadline Day.

Here's what she had to say.

I was looking forward to return back to my south London roots, so I was delighted that Bristol City and Crystal Palace were able work out a last-minute loan deal agreement for me. It’s great to be back home and back in the community.

Palace were the club I was hoping that would come in for me and as soon as I spoke to people at the club I could tell from the off it was a passionate outfit and one I wanted to get back to enjoying playing football with.

I’m excited to see what the Championship has to offer and what is different from the Women’s Super League. I’ll be keeping up with my own personal training routine as coming to Palace means I’m going to be part-time rather than full-time like at Bristol.

I knew a few of the girls prior to coming due to my early career days with the Millwall Lionesses: Ciara Sherwood, Ashlee Hincks, Jordan Butler and Leeta Rutherford.

Palace have given me the opportunity to play with a bit of freedom, get back involved with football as I have had a bit of time out of it and, ultimately, my main aim is to help out this club as I feel they’ve deserved a lot more than the results they’ve been getting.

Without a pre-season, it meant a lot that Dean Davenport trusted me to start my debut against Lewes a few weeks back in our draw with them in the league. It was an honour to pull on the red and blue shirt of the club I grew up near.

I’ve enjoyed working with Bianca Baptiste in training and in the couple of games we’ve started. As a right-winger, someone like Bianca is fantastic for a striker like myself and I’m excited to see how our relationship on the pitch grows as we get to know how each other play.

Being amongst the experienced players like Leeta and Ashlee has been great for me. Ash’s injury is a real blow to us, as I had enjoyed our initial link-up play during the Lewes game prior to her having to come off.

Starting in the next game at Aston Villa, with 90 minutes under my belt, meant I was looking to make an impact having worked off any rustiness against Lewes. However, an injury in the first-half put a stop to that.

Despite being injured, I came along to support the team from the stands against Lewes in our Conti Cup game. The win meant so much to the girls, and we showcased our clinical ability in front of goal, defended well and Rea Laudat’s screamer was a goal that deserved to decide the game.

Get your tickets for the Women's Weekend clash v London City Lionesses, and get your Palace fix during the international break. There is a discount on ticket prices for all Season Ticket Holders and Members!

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