Tue, 19. Nov. 2013

Jodie Hits Century of Goals for the World’s First

A 5-0 win for Sheffield FC Ladies’ first team at Newcastle United last Sunday was memorable not just for a superb team performance, not just for a result which took the team back to the top of the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division, not even for a Jodie Michalska hat-trick – as we have seen plenty of those in the past – but for the fact that the prolific striker notched up her 100th goal in Sheffield colours since her arrival at the Club just over three seasons ago.

Only one other player has achieved this notable milestone in the ten seasons since the ladies team’s formation back in 2003. Clare Holmes, still playing for the ladies reserve team, bagged her century back in the 2010/11 season and remains the leading goal scorer of all-time at the Club…although it is unlikely to stay that way for too much longer if Michalska continues in her current form.

Jodie joined Sheffield at the end of the 2010/11 season, just four months after giving birth to her first child. Previous to that, she had spent five very successful years at Lincoln in the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division, bagging the division’s top scorer award for three successive seasons, and finishing as runners up for four consecutive seasons. Michalska joined ex-Lincoln team mates Carla Ward and Melissa Cook at Sheffield after Lincoln’s acceptance into the FA Women’s Super League, something that just was not compatible with the lifestyle of a young mother.

Her first match for Sheffield was away at Liverpool Feds, a vital game in Sheffield’s season and one which could have seen them miss out on the title had things not gone their way. Jodie scored (naturally) on her debut to contribute to a 3-0 win for the visitors, who went on to secure the Northern Combination WFL title and a place in the FA Women’s Premier League for the very first time.

In 2011/12, Sheffield achieved way beyond anyone’s expectations by finishing the season as runners up in the FAWPL Northern Division, something that would never have been possible without Michalska’s contribution of 42 goals during the season. They also lifted the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup for the very first time with Michalska bagging two goals in the final against Sheffield Wednesday.

Last season, Jodie achieved something she had never done at Lincoln: she lifted the FAWPL Northern Division title for the very first time as Sheffield were crowned champions. Needless to say, Jodie’s 38 goals that season were a huge factor in that success.

If all this wasn’t enough, this Friday, Jodie will once again collect the award for FAWPL Northern Division top scorer at the annual Women’s Football Awards in London, the fifth time the striker has secured that accolade in seven seasons.

Manager, Helen Mitchell, paid tribute to one of her very best signings in her ten years in charge of the ladies first team: “It’s hard to properly sum up the impact Jodie has made here in such a short space of time, but she has undoubtedly made one of the biggest contributions of any player to the success of the team over the last few seasons.”

“She has been a simply superb player for us over the last three seasons - she’s such an intelligent player and one of the most skilful in the squad, but she also works hard at training and hardly ever misses a session. Her speed of thought is what marks her out, and she can buy herself just that little bit of extra time and space as a result. Obviously she’s scored goals for us over the years, but she’s also one of the most unselfish players in front of goal, frequently setting up chances for others when everyone expects her to shoot.”

“We’ve given her a slightly different role this season which she has absolutely loved, and in which she’s been brilliant. It’s been great to see her rising to a new challenge and putting in some of her best performances ever. She’s an influential player and person in the squad, hence the reason she’s been captain this season following the injury to Carla Ward."

100 goals for a Club at any level is a superb achievement, but to do it in just 86 appearances over two and a bit seasons shows Jodie’s commitment to play, her dedication to the team, as well as her undeniable ability. She’s one of a kind, and we are all desperately proud she plays for Sheffield FC. She’s already a part of history here, but I am sure there’s a lot more to come yet.”

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