Sammy Rowland Awarded Mitre Golden Ball As Girls’s FA Cup High Scorer

On Sunday, forward of the Girls’s FA Cup last, Sammy Rowland of fourth tier, Hashtag United Girls, was the recipient of the Mitre Golden Ball Award as the highest scorer on this season’s competitors with eleven targets.

Hashtag United have been eradicated within the Fourth Spherical by second tier Coventry Metropolis however with hat-tricks in opposition to Bedford and Actonians and an unbelievable 5 targets away in a 10-1 win away to Colney Heath, the participant signed from AFC Acorns final September had aready accrued extra targets than another participant within the competitors.

Rowland completed two targets forward of Rebecca Wyatt of Ashford United and Cori Williams of Cardiff Metropolis on 9. The very best prime division scorers, who enter the competitors on the Fourth Spherical stage, have been Khadija Shaw of Manchester Metropolis with seven and Cup last match-winner, Sam Kerr with 5.


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Requested to pick her favourite of the eleven she scored within the FA Cup, she chooses the second of her three targets in opposition to Actonians in December, a surprising shot into the highest nook of the objective. “To be honest it was an amazing run by Malika (Apindia) down the left wing,” Rowland tells me, “she simply minimize it again to me and I simply slotted it dwelling.”

Rowland succeeds Chloe Williams of Liskeard Athletic who was the inaugural winner of the Golden Ball Award in partnership with Mitre awarded to the respective prime scorers within the males’s and ladies’s FA Cup competitions. Accompanied to Wembley by teammates, Grace Gillard, Sasha Adamson and Hayley West, she was handed her trophy by former England worldwide Fern Whelan.

A Manchester United fan, Rowland additionally had the distinction of finishing up the match-ball in entrance of a world-record attendance of 77,390 spectators forward of the 2 units of gamers. They might have misplaced on the day to league champions Chelsea however Rowland obtained to see her favorites play of their first main last and as she instructed me forward of the sport,”I am additionally excited to see Lauren James play.”

James, the previous Manchester United ahead, is likely one of the gamers to have damaged into the England first crew since they received the UEFA Girls’s Euro final summer time. Ought to she begin within the World Cup finals, she is prone to be the one black participant in Sarina Wiegman’s first-choice crew, another than the all-white crew who triumphed on dwelling soil final 12 months.

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I requested Rowland if she felt that England crew represented her. “It will be good to see extra black gamers on the crew. I used to be clearly nonetheless completely buzzing for the women and what they completed for England however it might be good to see extra ladies on the market of coloration.”

She feels the shortage of black gamers within the Lionesses’ squad is not consultant of what she comes up in opposition to within the FA Girls’s Nationwide League (WNL). “Oh yeah, 100%. I fell like the range is there, simply inside the ladies’s nationwide crew there is not proper now. Hopefully, going ahead that may change.”

After I requested her who her hanging influences have been when she was youthful, like many ladies at present taking part in within the recreation, she needed to look to the lads’s recreation for position fashions. “Rising up, being a Manchester United fan, I believe Ruud van Nistelorooy (the joint-top scorer within the 2003/04 FA Cup) was one among my idols on the time. Among the targets he scored, he simply confirmed nice composure on the ball. Of the present crew, she admires Marcus Rashford, “clearly he is in type this 12 months as effectively, positively wanting as much as him in the intervening time.”

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With 26 league targets, Rowland has additionally prime scorer for her membership Hashtag United this season as they topped the regional WNL Division One South-East to earn promotion into the Southern Premier League subsequent season, one step away from the skilled second tier, the FA Girls’s Championship.

Based in 2016 by YouTube character Spencer Owen, Hashtag United have used their very own channel and social media platforms to achieve a considerable following which enabled them to enter a males’s crew into the English league pyramid. In 2020, they took over AFC Basildon FC to amass a presence within the ladies’s recreation.

Chatting with me about Owen, Rowland instructed me “He simply helps us a lot, there’s in all probability solely a handful of video games the place he isn’t been there so it is actually good he will get concerned with the ladies as a lot as he does with the lads’s crew. He is only a nice individual to be round to be sincere. Cannot fault him.”

For 2 years in succession, Hashtag United’s season was curtailed because of Covid-lockdowns. Lastly, competing a marketing campaign, they completed second to Billericay City final season, however topped the league this time successful sixteen of their eighteen matches.

Ought to they end prime of the Premier League subsequent season, Hashtag United they would be the beneficiaries of a rule change by the Soccer Affiliation which is able to enable each the winners of the Northern and Southern Divisions computerized promotion into the nationwide FA Girls’s Championship, the second tier of the ladies’s recreation.

This season’s respective champions of the Premier League, Nottingham Forest and Watford, will this Saturday be pressured to play-off in impartial Milton Keynes for the one promotion place obtainable this season, with the dropping crew left to begin all-over once more in the identical division.

Rowland believes the rule change was not earlier than time. “I believe it ought to have been in place from the start to be sincere, it appears a bit loopy that you just win the league after which it’s a must to come by way of another last play-off to try to get promotion. I believe it is nearly time actually.”

Going into the Premier Division subsequent season, Hashtag United can be aiming to go straight by way of and declare the automated promotion place. Rowland instructed me, “effectively, I do know our supervisor (Jason Stephens) desires to go in and win it! We would be foolish to not go in it and hope. It will take quite a bit to go in and do this however I positively suppose we have the potential to go in and win it.”