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Sheffield FC have been the dominant force in the FA Women's Premier League in recent seasons - but they will be hoping to put an end to this on Sunday when they play Portsmouth in the Championship play-off match, for a place in the FA WSL.
The Yorkshire side have won the Northern Division title for the third season in a row, as well as narrowly missing out on retaining the Premier League Cup, and now head into the biggest match in the club's history.
Sheffield's first league match of the season turned out to be a highly significant one, winning 2-0 against Coventry City - who turned out to be their main title rivals during the course of the season. All in all, they made a slow start by their standards, including a 3-0 defeat to Bradford City but then embarked on a run of ten straight victories, the last of which was a crucial 1-0 success in the return meeting with Coventry.
Sheffield then lost their next game away to Blackburn Rovers but never looked back from that point, winning all of their last six matches. The moment when they clinched the title was a little anti-climactic, due to Coventry suffering a six-point deduction, but they would have won the title anyway. One very notable statistic in Sheffield's success is that they won all eleven of their home matches, averaging four goals a game in the process.
Manager, Helen Mitchell, was delighted to see her team lift the trophy again, and paid tribute to her players: "It's so rewarding to see the players close things out with such professionalism, and I'm so happy for them all that they've retained the league title once again. We always knew this season was going to be a much tougher prospect with what was at stake this time, and so to come out on top again is an incredible achievement.
"Once again, the title is all down to the players: their ability, commitment, willingness to work hard and work together. Its been a long and very hard season. We've had more than our fair share of serious injuries this season, so everyone in both senior squads has been required to pull together and has played a vital part. The young reserve team players have been fantastic in stepping up, and their progress this season bodes really well for the future.
"To have won as many games as we have in spite of the injuries, is a huge testament to the work ethic at the Club. Yes, we've probably not played with as much flair this season as we have in the past, but that's down to other Club's not allowing us to do that quite so much, so we've had to show other qualities this time around. We've had to grind results out at times, but we've still scored more league goals than last season, and defensively we've been really solid, keeping ten clean sheets."
Helen is assisted by Zoe Johnson and Carla Ward is captain. Jodie Michalska once again topped the scoring charts for her club with 25 league goals and has been in blistering form in recent weeks, including successive hat-tricks against Sporting Club Albion in the last two games, taking her career tally for the club to a magnificent 200. Jodie has been well supported by strike partner Suzanne Davies who has weighed in with 15 of her own.
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