It’s a season-defining week for the Aston Villa Ladies – as they look for revenge against Manchester United Women and face 9th placed Lewes.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
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The Aston Villa Ladies have enjoyed a successful season so far, but the next week could define their season and how far they have come since their opening day fixture – a 12-0 loss to professional outfit Manchester United Women.
This Wednesday, the Aston Villa Ladies travel to the repeat fixture to face Manchester United Women once more, and are almost a different side to that which opened the season. The personnel is the same, but the personal growth shown by the ladies during this season has been nothing short of outstanding.
In their last three games, the Ladies have won 2-0 against Charlton, took West Ham United Women, another professional outfit, right down to the wire in the FA Women’s Cup Quarter-final – losing 1-0, and then beat bottom of the league Millwall Lionesses 3-1.
In fact, their 2019 has been an incredible one, as they remain unbeaten within the league with two wins and two draws.
There has been so much talk about how these players have developed as characters both on and off the pitch under the stewardship of manager Gemma Davies – and with prospects like Jodie Hutton and Tanisha Smith proving to be a handful for opposition defences, as well as more experienced players in captain Jade Richards and Nadine Hanssen really coming into their own, it’s bound to be an exciting game on the 17th.
Even if the Ladies don’t manage to win against Manchester United Women, they can show how much they have improved – and they have – by simply avoiding a similar scoreline to the previous time the two sides met.
That loss has been used as fuel for much of the season for some of these players, and a number of them will be keen to cause an upset.
On Sunday, the Aston Villa Ladies host Lewes at Boldmere St Michaels with a 15:00 kick-off. This is also the clubs ‘Kick It Out’ fixture of the season, showing solidarity to victims of racism on the pitch and showing that such abuse has no place within football.
Lewes sit two places below Aston Villa Ladies in 9th, and are 4 points behind them. Some key results for the ladies, who have a number of games in hand, could see them rise as high as fifth – if other results go their way.
It would be an outstanding achievement for the Ladies to finish fifth, but it’s an outstanding achievement regardless to be competing strongly with sides who receive much more funding than the Aston Villa Ladies.