Manchester United Women win FA Women’s Championship in their first season back in contention

The Manchester United Women’s squad will be crowned champions of the FA Women’s Championship after their 7-0 victory against Crystal Palacegave them an advantage on the league table that second place Tottenham will have no chance of beating. This is a momentous occasion as this is also the first season the Women’s team has been active at United since it was ended by the clubback in 2005.

The massive season was aided heavily by solid performances in both attacking and defence. Goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain has had a season to remember as in her eighteen league appearances the squad has achieved thirteen clean-sheetsincluding Saturday’s win against Crystal Palace. The overall defense of the squad will also be proud, however, as the club only allowed seven goals throughout the season. 

Alex Greenwood has been the primary choice for captain in Casey Stoney’s squad and has made seventeen appearances for United this season. Amy Turner and Kirsty Smith have also played crucial roles in the defence, both making fourteen appearances in the league, and finally Martha Harris, who has made thirteen defensive appearances including Saturday’s win. 

Attacking has been impressive for the women’s squad as well as Jessica Sigsworthleads the squad with fifteen goals, and Ella Tooneis one goal behind Sigsworth with fourteen goals. Finally in third, but also not far behind, is Mollie Greenwith thirteen goals. Head coach Casey Stoney will be pleased with her squad’s attacking ability as they have already put up eighty-eight goals as a team with two matches still remaining in the league, and it will definitely be a huge boost to the players, many of whom are still fairly young and early on into their career.

The United Women’s squad held a fairly firm grip on the league when it came to their top quality play, as their high amounts of scoring, and solid defending did not go unnoticed. This season alone, four women on the United squad have been awarded the honour of Player of the MonthKatie Zelem was the most recent player to win the award, winning in March. One month before Zelem, attacker Ella Toone was awarded Player of the Month, and finally last year, midfielders Mollie Green (November) and Lauren James(September) also won the award.

The excitement of this year’s success will definitely be amplified because of the women’s squad only just re-emerging back into operation this season. Simply achieving promotion alone would have already been seen as successful, and winning the league completely will definitely earn a strong show of confidence from United for any future plans.

With only two matches remaining this season in the league, the women’s squad will soon begin its preparations for a step up in quality of play, which will definitely require the current players, and whoever might come into the squad to be at the top of their game next season to ensure that United stay in the FA Women’s Super League next season. 

Currently, Manchester City and Arsenal are in a battle for the top spot in the Super League, and will more than likely be contenders next season assuming no major changes occur during the summer. If United’s women’s squad can adapt to the increase on their quality of play and perform similarly to this season, then they too will more than likely be contenders in the Super League next season.

Written by Joel Dulka

copyright: JW