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Crawley Wasps sewed up the FAWNL Division One South East title when they defeated Enfield Town 1-0 on Sunday.
We talked to Wasps full back and vice captain Rachel Palmer, who admitted that the last few minutes were ‘tense' in the Enfield game and, whilst delighted with their title succes, she is also looking forward to next week's League Cup Final and the challenge of playing in a higher level:
WSS: Many congratulations to you and the team on winning the league title, how does it feel now you have got over the line?
RP: Thank you, it's a great feeling, the club has worked very hard both on and off the pitch this season and it's great to be rewarded for the work that's been put in.
WSS: What was it like in the last few minutes after Kemina Webber had given you the lead late on?
RP: Safe to say it was tense! Credit has to go to Enfield, they made it difficult for us and kept us going until the final whistle.
WSS: Given that this is your first season in the league, did you feel from the start that you could challenge for the title or have you done better than anticipated?
RP: We had a very successful pre-season but stepping into a new league, you never quite know what to expect, we have taken it game by game. We knew from the start we had a very talented squad but I don't think anyone expected us to have achieved what we have this year.
WSS: This week it's a long trip to play Ipswich Town, how much are you looking forward to the game?
RP: Yeah it should be a good game, we have already played Ipswich twice this season so we know what to expect. It'll be nice going up there with the pressure off and the girls are looking forward to it.
WSS: Then of course it is the not very small matter of the League Cup Final against Blackburn Rovers. Fulham's fully professional team is the only one from outside the top flight to win the cup, so a chance for the club to make history?
RP: You never know, anything can happen in the cup! The club is very much looking forward to the occasion, as the season progressed the league was very much the priority and the cup runs were a bonus but to reach a National Cup final alongside promotion is something the club should be proud of. It will no doubt be a good day and I hope we can all do our supporters proud.
WSS: Having beaten the likes of Coventry, Plymouth and Oxford in your cup run, you should be able to approach that game full of confidence?
RP: Blackburn are a very good side that's clear from their previous and current season's success. I would say we are going into the game very much the underdogs, which we like. It should be a good game!
WSS: With a league title, a cup final appearance and a good FA Cup run which saw you play Arsenal, how do you think you will look back on this season in the future?
RP: It's certainly a season to remember! It's been a fantastic season, we are a very tight knit squad who work for one another and I think that's been the pinnacle of our success this year. Credit has to also go to the coaching staff, the training and preparation they have given us this season is second to none. We have a lot of "unsung heroes" behind the scenes that put a lot of effort in to make things happen and without the collective effort of everyone we wouldn't have been able to achieve what we have this season.
WSS: Next season you will be in the Southern Division, how confident are you that the team can keep its momentum going at a higher level?
RP: It will be a step up from this league but on a number of occasions this season we have demonstrated we can compete at that level. Everyone is looking forward to seeing what we can do and what we can bring to the league!
Our thanks to Rachel!
(Photo - www.bendavidsonphotography.com)
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