A lot of the spotlights will be focussing on the WSL this Women’s Football Weekend, but here is an insight into three players to keep an eye on in the FA Women’s Championship.
There is one standout game to keep an eye on this Women’s Football Weekend in the FA Women’s Championship and that is Durham against Liverpool, first against second and below, two of the three players will come from that fixture.
These three players are not necessarily the best players in the Championship, but they certainly could be in line for big performances this Women’s Football Weekend.
Bridget Galloway – Durham’s underapprecaited striker
It has been a standout campaign from Durham as they sit top of the Championship ahead of full-time sides such as Liverpool, Sheffield United, Bristol City and London City Lionesses and they will be looking to claim another scalp at home against the former.
So often the headlines have been grabbed by Beth Hepple, the club’s top scorer and appearance maker, Megan Borthwick, nominated for October’s Player of the Month award and more recently this season, Dee Bradley who has dominated midfields and scored crucial goals.
For all the goals and smooth flowing, football Durham have played this season, it has been Galloway up front on her own that’s created the space for players such as Hepple and Bradley to run the show with her never-ending energy giving defenders a nightmare.
Durham often dominate the ball and teams, especially at home. Galloway, who was signed from Sunderland in 2020 has offered them a constant outlet over the top of defenders as she possesses lightning-quick pace.
The striker has only found the net once this season which came at home to Lewes, but she can count herself unfortunate to not have more given the striker was hauled down through on goal against London City last time out at home.
Galloway does a lot of the dirty work for Durham and her record in front of goal does not even tell half the story of how important of a player she is, so it would be no shock if she netted against Liverpool at the weekend.
Jamie-Lee Nappier – The WSL awaits
Having had the pleasure of watching Jamie-Lee Nappier in person when London City took on Durham last month, it was obvious that she was a cut above many other players in the FA Women’s Championship.
It almost appeared that she was wasted as a right-back given how effective her balls into the box were and the excellent attacking positions taken up by the 21-year old.
Of course, Nappier has spent time with WSL champions Chelsea in the past and playing alongside that calibre of player while being coached by Emma Hayes will have done wonders for her, but she really was a threat in both boxes.
London City like to attack teams out wide to stretch play and move the opposition about and this plays right into Nappier’s hands because she has the ability to beat a defender one on one and get in behind a full back.
That ability to drop in behind a full-back could be a perfect out ball for London City as they’re up against a Sheffield United side who are usually very organised under Neil Redfearn and press from the front superbly
There appears no double that the full-back will find her way back into the WSL, whether that be with London City or via a new challenge, but with a lot of eyes on the Championship this weekend this could be Nappier’s best chance to show why Chelsea bought her from Hibernian.
Melissa Lawley – A cut above the rest
The second player to be involved in the early kick-off on Sunday and Melissa Lawley is no stranger to the big occasion and being a big force in games as she’s played for Manchester City in the WSL, but also been with Liverpool during their time in England’s second tier.
Lawley has been capped by the Lionesses and also won several pieces of silverware but now, she’s flexing her muscles and talent in the Championship with the Reds.
She’s capable of playing anywhere across the front line but also possess the ball-playing ability to drop into midfield if required.
Perhaps a forgotten figure within the game given how long she has spent outside of the WSL but she just oozes natural ability that can light up a game and has been a key figure being Liverpool’s storm up the league this season.
Lawley can string passes through the eye of a needle and also has a delightful set-piece delivery which could cause Durham havoc. Don’t expect to see her basking the glory of goalscoring though, Lawley is a player that can influence a game without being in the main headlines.
Women’s Football Weekend set for massive showdown
The match between Durham and Liverpool is sure to be one of the best in the history of the FA Women’s Championship, given the calibre of players on offer and what a win could mean for both sides.
This standard of fixture is a chance to showcase on Women’s Football Weekend, that there is more to the game than just the WSL.
All results this weekend will have huge implications at both ends of the Championship which could see a full reshuffle, especially at the top given how difficult the fixtures are this weekend, but one this is for sure, fans can expect top quality performances from very good players.