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Gemma Donnelly’s 2019 Review

The year will be best remembered for a historic quadruple and long awaited promotion into the second tier of women’s football

19 December 2019

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Ladies boss Gemma Donnelly has been taking a look back at Rovers’ 2019…

Rovers started the year top of the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division and stayed there for the remainder of the season to win the league title for the third season running.

This was accompanied by a second consecutive League Cup trophy, as well as lifting the Lancashire Challenge Cup for the fifth straight season.

Gemma Donnelly’s side also won the Championship Play Off Final – beating Southern Champions Coventry United Ladies 3-0 in the showpiece event at Bradford City’s Valley Parade.

And Rovers finally gained promotion to the FA Women's Championship at the end of the season, following a successful application to compete in the second tier.

“It’s been two very different parts of the year,” Donnelly reflected.

“The back end of last season was a joyous occasion because of all the trophies and accolades that the girls won. And gaining that most coveted promotion.

 “We’d worked so hard for it, I don’t know if I could have gone through another season of rejection and picking myself and the players up.

“So receiving the phone call to say that our application had been accepted was definitely the best moment.”

The step into the Championship has proved a tough challenge so far. Rovers currently sit in ninth position, having won league games against high flying Durham and Crystal Palace.

“The 2018-19 season seems a complete contrast to the 2019-20 season so far. Despite being stood in front of all our accolades, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to win and enjoy all the success.

“Of course we embarked on a new journey this season and it’s been somewhat challenging to say the least, but we are all enjoying it because it’s such a new challenge.

“That’s where I wanted to be, that’s where the players wanted to be and we eventually did it.

“This season has probably not gone to plan but we’re not doing too poorly. We’ve picked up points and that’s important.

“We’re not a million miles off, we’ve competed with the best teams in the league. And I hope we can improve in the second part of the season.”

Tickets for Rovers Ladies' first game of 2020 are now on sale here

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