Manchester City women’s team have had a very successful first season in the Women’s Super League (WSL) by finishing mid-table.
The highlight however was certainly reaching the Continental Cup final, where they beat three-times champions Arsenal to claim their first silverware as a club.
City women have come a long way in this past year and beating Arsenal, the most successful women’s team in the country with 41 trophies in the last 21 years, proves this.
Club captain Steph Houghton, who lifted the trophy last season with Arsenal, is convinced that her new club can build on this win and win more trophies.
“This club’s all about winning silverware and we want to emulate the men’s team in winning things – it’s definitely looking up for the future,” she told the BBC.
— Stephanie Houghton (@stephhoughton2) October 16, 2014
Winning goal scorer Isobel Christiansen knew City would have to defend well in order to win the game.
“We knew that if we could out-work and out-defend Arsenal midfield then we’d have a good chance of winning the game,” she told the FA website.
“We finished the first-half strongly and that gave us the belief after the break. As soon as the ball went out wide we tried to get bodies in the box and that’s what won it for us in the end.”
It would be unfair to say the WSL newcomers were lucky to win the cup, because they beat some great teams to eventually lift the trophy.
With wins against well-established clubs like Liverpool in the group stages, Chelsea in the semi-final and Arsenal in the final, City have done themselves proud.
And manager Nick Cushing believes that his team can now push on from this result and make an impact next season.
“We have to be realistic and we know that winning the Continental Cup doesn’t mean you’re going to go on and win the league.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but we’ve caused a lot of teams problems this year, and shown we’ve got a lot of potential in our side.”
MATCH SHOT: City celebrate breaking the deadlock by piling onto goalscorer Christiansen! pic.twitter.com/wqVmETeVJp
— Manchester City WFC (@MCWFC) October 16, 2014
Toni Duggan played a vital part in the success of the Blues season by scoring 11 goals, one of her most important goals coming against Chelsea in the Continental Cup semi-final to book a place in the final.
The Liverpudlian, who joined City at the start of the campaign, told the BBC that the club didn’t set any targets at the beginning of the season.
“In my head all I was thinking about was not getting relegated this year.”
— Toni Duggan (@toni_duggan) October 17, 2014
In terms of the league, the Blues had a very solid first season in the WSL, finishing the season with 19 points, only seven points from the top.
For a first season this is a very valiant effort from the women, who only finished three points behind Arsenal.
Cushing is pleased with the performances of the season, but believes that there are still improvements that can be made.
He told the Manchester City website: “We’ve been a little bit inconsistent.
“We’ve earned some good results and suffered some poor ones, but I’m not disappointed at all.”
The cup holders also caused a final day upset after beating Chelsea to deny them title, with a wonder goal from Duggan.
Adding to the success that happened on the pitch, Cushing’s team also boasts the highest average attendance of the season with 949.
Not only this but average crowds have increased for the whole of the WSL with average crowds of 728, compared to 562 last season.
The Citizens will now look onwards to next season knowing, they can only do better next season and build on the success of this season.
Main image courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks.