Marisa Ewers is our Player of the Match for the Aston Villa Women’s side on their return to Villa Park – and her arrival at the club showcases how strong the recruitment this summer was.

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Aston Villa Women made it three wins from three games this afternoon upon their return to Villa Park, dominating throughout the game in a performance that saw them have the vast majority of the ball and attacking impetus.

The game would have likely ended in a draw if it wasn’t for a last minute super-save from goalkeeper Sian Rogers, but every player for the claret and blue had a part to play within the exceptional performance.

One stand-out performer though, has to be midfield general Marisa Ewers – who was the first new signing through the door following her release from fellow Midland’s outfit Birmingham City Women.

The 30-year-old veteran, who has played in the Women’s Bundesliga for Hamburger SV and Bayer Leverkusen before moving over to the FA Women’s Super League and now the FA Women’s Championship was exceptional in a number of areas.

She was strong on the ball, spraying passes and even stronger in the tackle. Her contributions in the first half were capped off with a well-worked assist that saw her wind and wriggle in the opposition box before playing a ball into a central position for Melissa Johnson to slot home for her fourth goal of the season.

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And she was vital in the second half too. Ewers put the icing on the cake for her performance as Ella Franklin-Fraiture played a ball into the box for Amy West to run on to, who knocked a teasing ball into the ball of Marisa who buried the ball with a first-time attempt.

Marisa’s performance, and the performances of other new signings alongside players that have been here for longer than a few months, such as Nadine Hanssen, Sophia Haywood and Elisha N’Dow, have created a feel-good factor around the club and have showcased that the recruitment during the summer was well-planned.

The influx of talent from clubs in and around FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship, so far, has worked. There’s more experienced players, which Marisa Ewers falls under, that have added level-headed personalities across the pitch. In defence, there’s Natalie Haigh, in midfield there’s Emma Follis and Marisa Ewers. But at the same time, there’s a youthful freshness that has been added in the form of Melissa Johnson – who’s fired four within three games, and England youth international Emily Syme, as well as many others.

If Aston Villa Women can continue to perform at this level for much of the season, there’s no reason that they can’t achieve promotion to the FA Women’s Super League. As it stands, their biggest challengers for the title are Durham, who are also unbeaten this season.

It’s a long season, but the ladies look ramped up and ready to fight. Kudos must be given to Gemma Davies and her coaching staff, as well as anyone else involved in the recruitment side of things during the summer.

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