After a hard-fought 2-1 semi-final win at Anfield against Liverpool, Arsenal head to the Keepmoat looking to claim their 12th FA Womens’ Cup win.
As ever, we want the skinny on the finalists, so here is White-hot forward Ellen White (is that the best we could do?) to help you meet the team, like you haven’t quite met them before…
Meet the Gunners…
No. 1. Emma Byrne #bridetobe
Definitely someone you don’t want to mess with. Currently planning her upcoming wedding in June. Byrney has the wit and humour to kill someone’s story in a second. Most experienced goalkeeper in the league, great shot stopper and all round great GK.
No. 2. Steph Houghton #canyouretweetarsenalladies
Our Vice Captain this year. Stephy loves a new pair of boots… she’s now a NIKE girl, about time really. One of our superstars after her performances at the Olympics. Is a work horse for the team and has the best range of passing in the league #tekkers and the ability to pick and execute passes with ease.
3. Yvonne Tracy #moaner
“Ah Jaysus” is probably one of her favourite sayings and the girl from Ireland is occasionally hard to understand. Wiv will often have a few complaints during training. Apart from that, is a lovely girl that is willing to help anyone especially when it comes to free kit 😉 Can play anywhere along the back four and is one of our most experienced players.
4. Jayne Ludlow #oh, whatsoccuring?
She might be a bit crazy and tough on the pitch but Luds is a softie at heart. Likes to think she has good dance moves (Turkey tour) and a beautiful singing voice (Japan tour). She tends to go nuts on TOUR! A massive part of Arsenal Ladies, so it’s great to have her back fit after being out injured for long stretches last season. Wears her heart on her sleeve.
5. Gilly Flaherty #Herbalife
AKA Torres for her tendency to score worldies in training. Gillys favourite word is ‘Herbalife’. Didn’t you know that she is a distributor? The girl from Millwall plays with her heart on her sleeve and is a rock at the back for us, out and out defender.
7. Ciara Grant #MrsPotatoHead
The ‘Ancient’ one of the group and also our organiser. Always turns up to training with a carrier bag full of stuff for the girls to sign after training. An experienced centre half who reads the game well and one of our most consistent players.
8. Jordan Nobbs #calves
The girl who won’t stop running. One of the youngsters in the team and will believe pretty much anything you tell her. Voted our player of the year last season – thoroughly deserved. As was her call up to the England senior team. A hardworking midfielder with the ability to both defend and then attack with ease. Has a great eye for goal and not afraid to put her foot in.
9. Ellen White #shesgettingmarriedinthemorning(by Steph H) As Ellen’s roomie/close friend I could write an essay! Recently engaged and sporting a sparkler on her finger this doesn’t stop Ells sleeping like a baby. Loves a bag of nuts or two and is actually quite decent at doing impressions of her own cat. On the field, Ells is the hardest working player I think I have played with, will chase along the back line and cause defenders nightmares for 90 mins – her dedication is second to none. Has the ability to score crucial goals and link up play effectively. A big part of Arsenal and England’s future as a No.9.
10. Kelly Smith #justcruisinginmyrange
Kel is one of the quieter members of the squad and actually oblivious to most of the things that go on at the club. Probably the most intelligent person on the pitch, in the league, however off it is a different matter altogether! #blonde A player I can go and sit down with one-to-one and you can always learn from. A great role model and a legend in her own right. One of the best players in the world and can single handily change a game. #baller.
11. Rachel Yankey #MrsPeterShilton
You cannot be mad or angry at Yanks, it’s actually physically impossible. She has the ability to make you laugh with the drop of a hat. #windupmerchant Recently gained her 125th cap for England and she deserves all the praise. Has great passing and crossing abilities and assists a lot of our goals. Her pace and trickery can destroy defenders.
12. Gemma Davison #Dopey
The hash tag is definitely there for a reason. Always known for her new ‘choons’ and keeps the Chapman boys company on away trips by playing FIFA. On the pitch, Gemma is the quickest player in the league and her skills are frightening. 1v1 situations are what she loves doing best. An out and out winger that loves nothing more than a ball at her feet.
13. Becky Spencer #laidback
Spence is the most chilled and laid back person in the squad and is normally found attached to Gilly where they both seem to bully Dan Carter. It’s great to have Becks back after a successful loan spell with Birmingham last season. We missed you! Spence is probably one of the most gifted goalkeepers in the league, – so good with the ball at her feet – she should be an outfield player. Great shot stopper and all round top cat.
14. Jennifer Beattie #youvebeentangoed
Miss Beattie is probably the loveliest person you could ever meet. We both love ‘One Direction’ and we are not afraid to admit it. Also has a love for Beyonce. Beats loves a chat-up line (ask her, she knows them all). Can play in a number of positions. Her range of passing, aerial and shooting ability is second to none. Always works her socks off for the team. #awesome
15. Danielle Carter #Welbz
“Daniel” as Mr Akers called her in one of our pre season games. Dan is one of the brainy ones of the squad (Physiotherapy student) but she has no common sense, especially when Jord and her are together. #nightmare Has the ability to frighten defenders with her pace and directness and can play anywhere across the front three.
16. Kim Little #Casper
Newly (and deservedly) crowned PFA player of the year, Kimmy attempted to fake tan for the occasion and managed to keep a hold of her farmer’s tan. A world class midfielder who score goals, creates chances and can change a game in an instant.
17. Katie Chapman #Momma
Mum of two already with another baby on the way. Katie will always gives 100% in every match and lead by example, tough tackling and box to box midfielder who we will miss this season.
19. Niamh Fahey #lovesafilmquote
Niamh is going for top goal scorer this year, she always seems to be in the box. We always thought Niamh was a little bit crazy -this has been cemented by her new job in a laboratory, white coat and all. Extremely strong defender, who can get up and down the pitch with ease.
22. Alex Scott #diva
If Alex isn’t busy visiting the O2 for some sort of concert or gig she is our changing room DJ. One of the best right backs in the world; she will run up and down the flanks all day long and be just as effective in attack as in defence.
25. Jade Bailey #Beyonce
Jade is the baby of the team., a fantastic player. She is strong, agile and able to see passes others can’t. Can play both centre half and centre midfield, and we’re hoping she is part of the U19s Euros Finals squad this summer in Wales.
Shelly Kerr #theboss
Got to be careful what we say, got to stay in the good books. Shelley has fitted straight in with the girls and has a real passion to make this the best club in Europe. So organised in training that if anyone is to move a cone or a ball then you tend to get shouted at (in a really strong Scottish accent) in case you mess up the session. Has also introduced a fines system including no mobile phones at the dinner table and not wearing “the warm up trousers” to travel in.
Vic Akers #scrambledeggsbeansandtoast
There should actually be a book written with all of Vic’s classic quotes, it would be the best seller. “Stortford” “alright babe” “few eggs, few beans and some toast for the girls” Vic is the definition of Arsenal Ladies and what we stand for.
John Bayer #thecoat
John loves to wear his Arsene Wenger coat even in sweltering conditions. His motto is: “the longer your coat the more important you are.” He has now learnt to have a bit of banter back with me. Good work John.
Peter GK #quietone
Peter is our new GK coach and I haven’t seen him talk yet… but I am sure he is a lovely guy.
The girls have all fallen in love a little bit with Gez, he is literally on another planet. Has turned into an Arsenal Ladies hooligan on away trips. Can sit and tell you stories for hours (you just nod after while though, sorry Gez!).
Our newest member of staff. Must be daunting coming into a team of 20 girls, but has brought some banter. In Bilbao, at meal out her single handily ate a whole cow.
Follow Ellen White on Twitter: @ellsbells89
As appeared in Issue 14 of She Kicks Magazine, available to buy HERE.
Photos: The FA via Getty Images
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