Rosella’s not tyred of glory

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Joshua Richards

LEAGUE lead­ers and FA Cup win­ners Chelsea turn their at­ten­tions to another com­pe­ti­tion this af­ter­noon when they aim to get one over on ri­vals Ar­se­nal in the Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup – and Rosella Ayane be­lieves her team can win the lot.

Vic­tory over Notts County at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium two weeks ago brought the first tro­phy in the club’s ex­is­tence and, af­ter a blip in league form, they are back rid­ing high at the top fol­low­ing last week­end’s 4-0 de­struc­tion of Birm­ing­ham City.

To­day, at Staines Town, Chelsea bid to boost their chances of pro­gress­ing from Group One to the quar­ter-fi­nals of a com­pe­ti­tion won by Manch­ester City last year. And, though speedy striker Ayane be­lieves the strength in depth through­out the di­vi­sion is one of the rea­sons the game is so pop­u­lar, she hopes Chelsea can dom­i­nate when it comes to claim­ing the prizes.

“It would be nice to think we could win all three tro­phies, I don’t see why we can’t,” said the 19-year-old. “But we can’t get com­pla­cent.

“The FA Cup is the first tro­phy that we have won, so we can’t just ex­pect to dom­i­nate now.We have to earn it.

“It’s re­ally good for women’s football that the league is so com­pet­i­tive, that we’re all so close. There are four, maybe five teams, that can still win the league and I’m sure all of the WSL 1 sides are hop­ing to reach the lat­ter stages of the Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup.

Pro­fes­sional

“It would be nice to dom­i­nate, but we know we can’t af­ford to un­der­es­ti­mate any teams, we have to stay pro­fes­sional.”

Ayane scored two goals in two games for Chelsea in last year’s Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup cam­paign, but has spent the first half of this sea­son on loan at Lon­don ri­vals Mill­wall – scor­ing four goals in seven games.

She made an in­stant im­pact with a de­but strike against Ever­ton and was part of the Eng­land Un­der-19s side that com­peted at the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in Is­rael.

And Ayane is ready to show Chelsea sup­port­ers that she is much im­proved when Ar­se­nal come to town. “Mov­ing to Mill­wall was one of the best de­ci­sions I made,” she added.

“I got good game time and great ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s a good stan­dard, so it was im­por­tant for me to get into the start­ing XI and I think I gave a good ac­count of my­self.

“The Euro Un­der-19s was amaz­ing. Of course we did so well at the World Cup that peo­ple were look­ing to us to see what we could do. The re­sults didn’t go as well as we wanted (Eng­land picked up one point from three matches), but the ex­pe­ri­ence we gained from be­ing away was fan­tas­tic.

“Now that I’m back I can’t wait to get the chance to be in­volved, hope­fully against Ar­se­nal. We will give them the re­spect they de­serve, be­cause they are a fan­tas­tic side. But we’re strong too and need to think about our­selves.”

PIC­TURES: The FA

TEENAGE KICKS: Rosella Ayane play­ing for Eng­land Un­der-19s and, inset, for Chelsea

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