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Walsh excited to 'give back' to fans

YOUNG GUNS: Keira Walsh and Nikita Parris - two key components in the Blues' double-winning success

YOUNG GUNS: Keira Walsh and Nikita Parris - two key components in the Blues' double-winning success

There aren’t many teenagers who can boast three senior medals in their first three seasons.

Keira Walsh can.

At just 19, Man City Women’s midfielder has won the FA Super League title, plus two Continental Tyres Cups.

The England youngster was also dubbed the Club’s Rising Star following an impressive debut campaign, in which she famously outplayed Lionesses legend Kelly Smith in the 2014 cup final.

On Sunday, City have the opportunity to showcase their two trophies at the Academy Stadium, when Birmingham visit in the last league game of the season.

Presented by Etihad Airways, a party atmosphere has been promised as the champions head into the clash looking to break their attendance record once more and end the league campaign as ‘Invincibles’.

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Walsh – a regular starter in Nick Cushing’s line-up – cannot wait to celebrate with her side’s all-important twelfth player: the fans.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” she told ManCity.com. “It’s important to give back to the fans that have followed us all season, coming to all the home and away games.

“There’s no better way to pay them back than to celebrate a league and cup win, plus a place in the last 16 of the Champions League. It should be a fun day!

“The end of the season has come around so fast but we’re all looking forward to lifting the trophy at home and hopefully, maintaining our unbeaten run.”

Reflecting on an incredible league campaign which has heralded 13 wins from 15 with 35 goals scored and just three conceded, Walsh expressed her delight.

“We all set out our objectives at the start of the season to challenge for the title and trophies. To come away with two of them has exceeded expectations, particularly with the way the team has played throughout the season.

“We’ve been really consistent and defensively, we haven’t conceded many goals. That’s always a massive positive.”

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Walsh though, who sustained a long-term injury back in March and was forced to miss the opening months of the season.

Upon her return though, she slotted seamlessly back into the first-team, highlighting manager Cushing’s belief that ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.’

“It was really pleasing to have got back into the starting XI,” Walsh added. “It’s hard but satisfying work with the physios because the staff we have are incredible.

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“You take everything on board and if you put in the hard work, there’s no reason why you can’t be back on that pitch sooner rather than later.

“Credit to the coaching staff because it shows they trust the young players. Georgia Stanway has featured quite a lot and Ellie Roebuck has been on the bench a few times... As long as you listen and put things into practice, you will get your chance.”

Now readying herself for a second encounter with Birmingham this month – the first the Continental Tyres Cup final – the midfielder is anticipating an equally challenging contest.

“I’m hoping for a similar game,” she said. “They’re a tough opposition and the final was a really good game to play in.

“Birmingham play good football and they came out and attacked us, whereas some teams in the league have sat back and let us have all the possession.

“We definitely don’t want our unbeaten to end, especially with it being the last game of the season. We need to be focused.”

Join the party!

Celebrate a wonderful season with Man City Women at the league season finale, presented by Etihad Airways, on Sunday 30 October.

Tickets are still available to watch the league and cup double winners attempt to end the season unbeaten as 'Invincibles'.

The Super League and Continental Tyres Cup trophies will be on display, and the party will really start at full-time.

Visit the Ticket Office or tickets.mancity.com for more details.

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