Leicester City Women secured promotion to the WSL with a 2-0 win over London City Lioness on Sunday 4th April. Goals in the second half from Samantha Tierney and Natasha Flint ensured them of a historic win. It means the club will play in the WSL for the first time in their history.
With two games to go the Foxes have run away with the league having lost just one of their 18 games. They have been on a run of 12 straight wins as they secured the title at the weekend.
Leicester City Manager Jonathan Morgan, told LCFC TV after Sundays game:
“To say we are officially WSL, it’s awesome really. We’ve got to the pinnacle of the women’s game in England and we just want to keep pushing ourselves and getting further and further with it and getting better and better.
“It’s been a long journey. It’s been seven years, where we were playing, in all honesty, off parks and out of tin sheds for changing rooms. I remember when I first started, I didn’t have even a squad. I think we only had 12 players, so to see that growth, it’s been a fantastic achievement.”
The club turned professional in August 2020 after being taken over by King Power (parent company of Leicester City). Leicester City will now be able to look forward to playing the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in the WSL next season.
Morgan hopes this will inspire more local girls to take up football saying:
“I think, for me, with the women’s game, it’s still about growing it,” he explained. “It’s still about encouraging the next generation of young female athletes and now the girls of Leicester have got a top team in the best league to look up to and to aspire to.
“I think that does more wonders than anything that we can ever think about really.”
Leicester born defender Ashleigh Plumptre admitted to becoming emotional as they closed in on the victory against London City telling LCFC TV:
“I literally looked at the badge before I walked out and then, with five minutes to go, I looked at it again and I ended up tearing up when I was on the pitch with five minutes left!
“I don’t just play football just because I want to do well in it. I like to represent something that’s bigger than me and I’ve grown up here.
“I had to go away and then to America and then I’ve come back I’ve been able to come back to the only team that I wanted to come to. I’ve managed to do it with literally my hometown team. I have shirts [from] when I was like four years-old, going to games when the men were in the Championship.
“Now to think I’m representing my club, where I’m from, and to win… like I said, I play for something bigger than me and I play to win and to think that I’ve done that here, I literally cannot ask for anything better.”
Being the only fully professional side in the league gave Leicester added pressure, but Plumptre stated that just made the squad come together:
“Nobody wanted us to win really because we’re the only team that are fully professional. We’re provided with everything. So people want to get a one up on us and we’ve just got through all of it and now we’ve come out winners.
“Everybody’s in there celebrating together, and rightly so. It’s a season to be celebrated because I definitely think we deserve it. We’ve worked so hard and there were times where you can see it in the way that we play and the way that we talk to each other on the pitch.
“We gear each other up because we know that we can’t just win with 10, we just can’t win with 11, we have to win with everybody and, I put it out to all the girls, within the first five minutes, we were doing headers and clearances and I could hear the subs from the off.
“I really think, for me personally, it’s hard to get through a season with everything we’ve been through without things like that, without people being there when you need them. It’s not just the players, it’s the staff, too. It’s just been a huge collective effort and it’s finally come to fruition.”
Leicester can look towards next season and playing in England’s top flight as they test themselves against some of the best players in the world.