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Women's Football News
Crystal Palace are on their way back up the women's football pyramid after picking up the London & South East League title.
Having been relegated from the South East Combination at the end of last season, Palace regained their status at the first attempt and also hit the headlines by reaching the Fourth Round of the F.A.Women's Cup, a run which included a stunning 2-0 victory against Premier League side Derby County.
"It was fantastic to secure the league title in front of our home fans who have been such an asset all season," says coach Richie Callaghan. "That was the start of three days in the spotlight for the girls as on Sunday night, we celebrated the title at Palace keeper Julian Speroni's restaurant, then Monday on the pitch at half time in the Palace-Liverpool game to parade the trophy around the ground and Wednesday on the stage at the Palace awards evening, where Jenny Kikomeko was presented with the Player of the Year award."
Captain Kirsty Mitchell and vice captain Katy Morris both said that although it had been hard work, it was all worth it and everyone in the team had played their part in winning the league. They praised Emma Whitter and Dionne Lennon for the parts they played before they left for Millwall Lionesses and the FA WSL, with Emma netting an amazing 33 goals in that time. Jenny Kikomeko also weighed in with 28 goals which was an outstanding achievement from midfield.
A special mention was also given to young player of the year Grace Beegan who was a model of consistency at the back. Kirsty picked out the home game against Maidstone United as her one to remember in which Palace won 9-1, which was all the more remarkable when you consider that Maidstone were top of the league at the time. Katy picked out the game against Derby County in the FA Women's Cup as her most memorable and said that the crowd that day were inspirational and played a major part in the 2-0 victory. A consensus of opinion from the team was that although it was amazing to win the league trophy, they will always remember the FA Cup run.
Manager Dean Davenport said he was over the moon at winning the title, praising coaches Ray Kemp and Richie Callaghan for their parts and said he was proud of the girls' performances throughout the season. He complimented the girls on their hard work and commitment and made special mention of their fantastic attitude both on and off the pitch. He also said he was looking forward to next season when hopefully they can continue to improve and progress.
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