Off the back of the success of the Women’s World Cup, I was delighted to hear of the ‘Women’s Weekend’ initiative from the FA. For us, that weekend falls on the 17th November against London City Lionesses, which will be a passionate local derby so it’s a great fixture to have been thrown up.
The club have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make that day so much more than just the 90 minutes of football; the plans in place are really exciting.
We always have our loyal supporters who come to our games, and we are renowned in the Championship for having one of the most vocal and passionate set of fans. It is exciting to think we can add to that fanbase on the 17th, where we will be hoping to welcome plenty of new Palace fans as we look to give them an insight into what the club does.
Two weeks ago, we faced Champions League semi-finalists and Women’s Super League outfit Chelsea. Despite the defeat, I thought the team played really well and contained the Blues assuredly.
It gave us plenty of positives to take into last Sunday’s game against London Bees, a match I told the squad was a must win. We tweaked the system a little bit and that resulted in Ella Rutherford having her best game of the season since joining, and she fully deserved her well-taken brace.
It was disappointing to be two goals up and then see the Bees pull it back to 2-2 but the response to get the late winner was pleasing; we showed our Palace spirit, dug in and kept on going to make the most of that bit of luck that was handed to us late on.
As well as praising Ella, I’d like to also mention two players who have started every game for us so far this campaign: Annabel Johnson and Amy Goddard. When I knew Amy was available I wanted to sign her straight away - her Women’s Super League experience and physical attributes have been vital to us already.
Annabel is a fighter, and a leader on and off the field. She has the Palace DNA of ‘never say die’. Both players have a kind of ‘domino effect’ on the whole squad, as they inspire their teammates when they see them fighting for every ball, not giving up and consistently putting in imperious performances full of passion.
I’d like to give special thanks to the Crystal Palace Vice Presidents group. It’s fantastic news that another part of the main club have decided to get involved in the women’s section. It’s important that we get as much involvement from different groups as possible and to have the Vice Presidents backing us is really unique and shows that Crystal Palace is a one-club community.
The VPs’ support will help us in so many ways from new equipment to developing aspects off the pitch, too. This is an exciting and generous opportunity handed to us to grow the club further. In return, we, as a part of Crystal Palace, cannot wait to start working alongside the VPs and highlight their great work within the club.
This content comes from last weekend's programme against Leicester City. Be sure to keep an eye out for matchday programmes for £3.50 around Selhurst Park's various sellers, who now take contactless payment.