On November 17th, Crystal Palace [Women] will welcome London City Lionesses for a league clash that falls on 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 the Selhurst Park buzz that weekend can get their red and blue stripes of south London fix by heading down to Hayes Lane, the home of Bromley FC, to see how our women's team fare in their 2pm kick-off.
Dean Davenport's side are in good form having won their last two games against Lewes and Leicester City, respectively. The Crystal Palace programme caught up with one of the team's new summer signings, Leeta Rutherford, earlier in the season. Read the central midfielder's column below (but first check out Rutherford's screamer from the win over the Foxes!).
Right, over to Leeta in her own words:
I was delighted to join Crystal Palace this summer, at an exciting time in the club’s growth on and off the pitch. I really do feel like this could be a superb season for the team.
Last campaign I was playing for Lewes in the Championship, and actually played against Crystal Palace in both games – don’t worry I have apologised to the girls for scoring against them!
But a few things I remember from that 180 minutes is being impressed by the level of several players representing the Eagles, considering that Palace weren’t expecting to take part in the Championship last season - it was all very much short notice in terms of being able to prepare for the season, without doing the necessary restructuring that any team would need to do.
I also remember coming away from those games and thinking about how passionate Dean Davenport had been on the sidelines, and playing for a manager like that was another big draw for me when hearing of Palace’s interest.
Right from the beginning, Dean was open and honest and told me of the aims to end up in the top half this season, and I was refreshed by his passion and what he wanted from the team. Furthermore, it was clear to me that everything that goes on around the club is a real team effort and that’s what I love about Palace; everybody is in it together.
Of course, it is always nerve-wracking joining a new team, however, I was fortunate enough that I knew a lot of my teammates just from playing against them over the seasons. Furthermore, I played with Ciara Sherwood and Nicole Pepper during my time in the Women’s Super League with Millwall Lionesses, so it’s great to link up with those girls again.
The pre-season was tough, but that’s what it is meant to be like! If you want to compete at the top of that league, then that’s what you’ve got to do. We are back two weeks earlier than most other teams, and I like that approach. Furthermore, I was doing extra work in my own time to push for a starting place, and it was an honour to be named in the XI for our first game of the season.
Stay tuned to the club’s social media channels and website for further details on ticket information for the Women's Weekend clash against London City Lionesses.