Perfect end to the perfect league season for Bronze

Lucy Bronze, right, with the FA Women's Super League trophy.
Lucy Bronze, right, with the FA Women's Super League trophy.

A full England debut in a World Cup qualifier and winning the league title – it was quite a week for Lucy Bronze.

The 21-year-old was part of the Liverpool Ladies team to lift the FA Women’s Super League crown for the first time in their history by beating Bristol Academy 2-0 in Sunday’s title decider.

Domestic success came hot on the heels of an unforgettable moment at international level, when she started her first match for England seniors.

The former Duchess’s Community High School pupil admits it has been the perfect end to a perfect season.

And she is particularly pleased to have made it through the campaign unscathed, after being plagued by knee injuries over the past few years.

“It has definitely been the most memorable season of my career,” said Bronze, who has just completed a sports performance degree at Leeds Metropolitan University.

“My initial goal this year was to stay fit and healthy and play every game.

“And for the first time in five years I managed to play every single league match.

“The England call-up and debut was an added bonus, as was winning the league.

“Of course I wanted to achieve these things, but I didn’t think it would all be achievable this season.”

Bronze’s fine form for Liverpool was rewarded with her first England senior call-up earlier this year and she made her debut in June, coming on as a substitute in a 1-1- draw with Japan.

But on Saturday, September 21, she went one better – by being named in the starting line-up for the nation’s opening match in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The talented defender was picked at left-back and England romped to a 6-0 victory.

And she kept her place five days later, holding onto the number three jersey for the 8-0 win over Turkey in Group 6.

“I think I did okay,” said Bronze, who normally plays at right back.

England tackle two more qualifiers at the end of this month as the race to Canada 2015 hots up. They host Wales on October 26 before playing in Turkey on October 31.

Bronze is determined to keep her place.

She said: “Hopefully I have done enough to keep my place in the England team.

“Once you get that place you don’t want to lose it.”

Just three days after helping England beat Turkey, Bronze was toasting another job well done, as Liverpool Ladies won the Women’s Super League.

A 2-0 win against second-placed Bristol on the final day of the season, in front of more than 2,000 people, secured the championship for the first time in the club’s history.

It also ended Arsenal’s nine-year dominance of women’s football in this country.

“I am really overwhelmed,” she said.

“It feels great to be part of it and it is just amazing, especially as Arsenal have been so dominant for so long.”

The Merseysiders had led the way for most of the season and only a victory for Bristol would have seen them overtake the Reds.

The triumph marks a stunning turnaround in fortunes for Liverpool, who had finished bottom of the table for the past two seasons and won only one game during the 2012 campaign.

But, following huge investment from the club’s American owners, the Reds won 12 of 14 fixtures this season.

Bronze was part of the revolution, joining Liverpool from their Merseyside rivals, Everton, last year.

Winning the title brings with it Champions League football.

Bronze has tasted action at this level with Everton and she is relishing being part of the competition once again.

“You want to be up against the best players. You want to measure yourself against them and you want to be challenged,” she said.