This Sunday, 9th April, sees the Streatham-Croydon Salamanders challenge for their places at the top of the Women’s National Challenge London & South East South 2 league. We know, it’s quite a mouthful. This year has been a veritable rollercoaster of learning curves for the team, our first in a competitive league. From our stalwart second row, Sam, clean breaking her leg in two places, leaving us a little lacking at times in the engine room, to changes in coaching leadership due to the ever challenging constraints of geography and time, to remembering to properly complete the match card to get the bonus point!
It has also been an incredible journey. Going into the Christmas break top of the league, a position we held onto until last week due to some delayed matches, was incredible. The first time we had enough players available to select a squad based on merit and commitment, with a full bench, was a true marker of how far we’ve come.
We head into this weekend ready to fight for our league title; despite a fair few changes in personnel for the game, we are a team that binds together in all circumstances and are ready to give everything we have. Whether we are able to win the league unfortunately falls outside of our control: our understanding is that an increasingly strong Millwall side will have to beat league leaders St Francis in order for us to jump ahead of them. It is not an implausible possibility but it requires all the stars to align.
One of the best moments of the season was shipping the ball wide in the last play of the game that we were marginally losing to watch winger Erin Fairley touch down in the corner for the win. What spurred us on for that moment, and I am quietly confident made all the difference, was the support of the home crowd that day. Frant Road is our fortress, we very rarely lose here and this weekend we hope to make it very clear that no team can come to visit us without having a tough time of it. Please, please come down and show your vocal support from the sidelines – the 16th man could make all the difference. As our #1 fan would say, C’MON STREATS!!!