Palace Women's Amy Goddard may have only arrived in the summer but the centre-back is already looking like part of the furniture, having started all of Dean Davenport's side's games so far this season.
We caught up with the former Yeovil Town defender for the matchday programme against Watford. Below, you can now read her column.
Our FA Cup run is over after a 3-0 defeat to Women’s Super League side, Brighton & Hove Albion. However, games against opposition of that calibre – we’ve also played Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Chelsea this season – provide us with important tests and they’re matches that allow us to truly see where we are individually and collectively.
Having arrived at Palace in the summer from a Women’s Super League side - Yeovil Town – I can say that we aren’t far off competing with the elite sides in this country. The major difference being that at WSL level you’re playing against sides full of international experience and that adds different elements to their game.
The rivalry between the two sides, especially with the game falling so close to the men’s match against Brighton, is there and you could feel that on the night with the number of fans that attended – considering it was a rearranged game for a Tuesday night, that support meant a lot to the girls.
Despite the cup exit, it has been a positive time for the club as a whole with our Development squad winning the National Reserves League Cup. It is a superb experience for that generation coming through – you can’t beat getting that taste for winning games and trophies.
I was delighted to see Mia Lockett, Beau Parker and Charlie Goad all score in the 5-0 win as those girls have played a few first-team minutes this campaign. This highlights the promising future that Crystal Palace Women are building and the hard work that is going in off the pitch in building a long-term structure.
Our next game is against Blackburn Rovers at Selhurst Park on Sunday 22nd March – this will be my first time playing there and I cannot wait to have that experience of walking out the tunnel. It highlights the great support the whole club is giving to the women’s section.
The game against Blackburn is massive as we currently sit level on points with them, but with a slightly worse goal difference. The league is close this season and we know that we are, like several clubs, in danger of relegation. However, we are still firmly looking up the table as we know we have the squad to achieve our pre-season aims of a top-half finish.
Against Blackburn I hope I am able to continue my run of having started every game this season – to have that faith from the manager from the off and to join such a welcoming squad has meant a lot to me.
We have a lot of competition at that back so to continually be picked by the manager is pleasing and it’s great for me to see the hard work I put in rewarded. I offer a physical presence at the heart of the defence and I feel like I’m approachable on and off the pitch - I’d class myself as a leader and like to think I’m a role model to the youngsters. And I’ll continue to be all those things whether selected or not.