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Chelsea complete the double ++ An interview with Amy Beck (Bradford City) ++ Strong finish takes Harworth home ++ Champion season for Brett Vale ++ FA Cup Final schedule announced ++ Cliftonville and Glentoran power on ++ Lewes take Booth to the Pan ++ Portchy do it again ++ Konchesky is new West Ham boss ++

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An interview with…

Amy Beck  (Bradford City)

It has been a good second half of the season for Bradford City, which has seen them climb successfully away from the relegation places in FAWNL Division One North and into mid-table. Sunday’s 4-3 victory against Alnwick Town in their final match of the season means they finish up in seventh place.

Amy Beck has been a regular in the side in midfield this season and was pleased with the result against Alnwick - particularly goalkeeper Skye Kirkham who saved two penalties - as well as being confident that the team can build on their good run and set their sights on higher positions next season:

WSS: A good result for your team to round off the season on Sunday, was the game as exciting as the 4-3 scoreline suggests?

AB: Yeah it was definitely good to see the season off with a high. The game did have its phases of excitement, definitely with us creating many chances and linking up well. It was good to see the two young Under-23s come on up front and show what they can do. But Alnwick also provided their own excitement for the last quarter of the game, but thankfully we managed to hold on.

WSS: As well as four goals, there were also penalty heroics from Skye Kirkham in goal with two saves, so presumably a good day all round?

AB: As we know, saving a penalty is the pinnacle for any keeper but for Skye to pull it off twice in a short period of time was great to see and she definitely felt the relief from the rest of us. It could have been a very different ending, not for those two saves, so was definitely a good day all round!

WSS: The win means you end the season in seventh place and only one point off a top half finish, so overall are you satisfied with the way things have gone?

AB: I’d say satisfied is a fair way of feeling about seventh place, especially after the stress of being in a relegation battle. Although, I think the general feeling around the club is that we feel like we deserved more, especially with some of the performances we put in towards the end of the season, showed what we are capable of as a team. Just a shame we wasn’t able to produce those performances in other parts of the season and turn some of those draws into wins. We was able to show how much we wanted to stay in this league and showed our potential by going on a unbeaten run of six games in the league when it was needed. All in all, definitely happy with how our season ended.

WSS: How big a boost to the team was the arrival of Hope Knight during the season, was that something of a turning point?

AB: Massively. Hope was able to give experience and quality to the team and provide an overall improvement to our attacking performance. The girl definitely has a left foot we all dream of, which can be seen from her stat of 13 appearances and 11 goals, I think! Showing how much of an impact she had but she is also a great team mate to have around, always providing the laughs.

WSS: What would you say was the team's best performance or result during the season?

AB: I think our best result was the 3-0 win over FC United of Manchester, just because that felt like our turning point and gave us the boost we needed to show us that we can do better, hence the start of the unbeaten run. Although, I think some of our best performances came against the top end of the league teams towards the end of the season. Even though we didn’t come away with wins in those games, we came out with some praise of that we were able to compete with those teams sitting at the top.

WSS: Is there anybody with the team who has had a good season for you but maybe hasn't quite had the recognition she deserves?

AB: I think as a midfielder myself, I’ve got to highlight some of my other midfield partners Caitlyn Douglas and Monika Stube. Caitlyn definitely had a tough start to season but she soon earned her place as number four and has cemented that throughout the season. She will always look to play out and calm the game down. Monika does the nitty gritty of the game that doesn’t get you the recognition from many but would be missed by the team if removed, she also a player that has a lot of good technical ability to offer. Overall they’re both players that may not get the recognition, but are definitely a core part of this team.

WSS: How confident are you that the team can push on from the second half of this season and aim for a higher place next time around?

AB: We have massive confidence and optimism about next season and where we can aim towards. We know we just need to carry on the hard work and performances we have been putting in, into the start of new season. It will only create confidence that will help push us forwards.

Our thanks to Amy!     

Photo by Alex Daniel