Rosella’s not tyred of glory
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.
“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.”
TEENAGE KICKS: Rosella Ayane playing for England Under-19s and, inset, for Chelsea