Interview: Leafield Athletic’s Adrian Clements, Laura Broadbent and Michelle McCormack

This Sunday, Leafield Athletic return to Women’s FA Cup action as Adrian Clements team look to progress into the next round. A tough test at home to Lincoln City Women lies ahead though. Lincoln City currently sit top of the Midlands Division One with Leafield Athletic sitting in 9th place while being 2-3 games behind some teams in the league. The two teams have met in the league back in October where Lincoln City walked away with a 2-4 victory. 

We are very thankful to have Manager, Adrian Clements. Captain, Laura Broadbent and player Michelle McCormack have joined us for a look ahead to the game and let us in on a few secrets from the Leafield Athletic set-up.
 
S71 – First off we return to Women’s FA Cup action this weekend, how excited are you to be playing once again in this Cup after wins over Leicester Road and Girls and Telford so far?
Laura Broadbent – The FA Cup is always a special competition to play in and it’s amazing to still be in the competition looking forward to progressing to the next round. We are in good form at the minute and would be lovely to continue the run we are on!
 
Michelle McCormack – The FA cup is a competition that is always a pleasure to play in – it’s great to play in a competition that means so much across all forms of the game.
 
Adrian Clements – It’s such a prestigious cup and the only one that offers a financial reward to the teams, therefore, progression is key. We rely on FA Cup winnings to increase the sustainability of the club each season. Everyone at the club is buzzing about the game on Sunday.
 
How far would you like to go in the Women’s FA Cup and how far do you think you can go? Obviously, Lincoln City are a tough opponent to get past first. 
Laura – As far as possible! Lincoln are a good side who give us a really good game last time we played them. I feel since then we’ve only got stronger and we gave them a game that couldn’t of gone anyway – I think that will be the same on Sunday!
 
Michelle – I think we are of the opinion that when we play in the way we know we can, then we have a chance of winning every game. We are in good form and would love to target the rounds where we could draw championship and possibly even WSL sides.
 
Adrian – I think we have to take everything one game at a time. The club is in a transitional stage and we wont start shouting about little successes when we can go about things quietly. If we can beat Lincoln and then draw a Championship team, that would be great for our profile.
 
I believe if my maths is correct Leafield have scored 52 goals so far this season already. With Daisy-Mai Clements sitting top of goal scoring chart in Midlands Division One. How would you describe the kind of football that Leafield play is? 
Laura – That’s a great stat and I’m buzzing for Daisy, she really is in form and great to have players from our team in the top 20! We play what we see and we try to do the basics well, all doing our individual jobs that then complements the team! We work on and off the ball for each other and we’ve got a really strong group bond. The Leafield Family!
 
Michelle – We like to get the ball down and play and have a great wealth of talent across the pitch – we always back ourselves to create chances and are fortunate enough to have players capable of taking them. We are also more than capable of mixing it up and battling results out when we need to too!
 
Adrian – We like to play football, getting the ball down and playing. There’s nothing worse than the “big hoof”. We have enjoyed a lot of success in front of goal and that is a testament to the mix of experience and fearless youth. This is the best group that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
 
To anyone that doesn’t know Leafield Athletic or not been to a game before how would you describe the set-up and matchday experience? 
Laura – We go on the basis of a one-club! From u9s to 1st team we are one club. Like I said before, we are one family who supports each other on Saturdays and Sundays! Leafield is still growing and got plans to where we want to be but all I know is we are going in the right direction and couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve all achieved together over the last couple of years! Can’t not give a shout out to Aid for all the work he’s done around the club.
 
Michelle – A friendly experience where you will be made to feel very welcome. I think you can only really understand what we are about as a club by getting yourself along to a game and joining us in the clubhouse afterwards!
 
Adrian – We are a stand-alone ladies club and are staunchly proud of this. We welcome everyone with open arms and like to provide a safe and enjoyable day for all. Our clubhouse is a hidden little gem and once you enter it, you realise that the history of the club is all over the walls.
 
Who should we keep an eye out for on Sunday? Who can change the match in an instant? 
Laura – I think the depth of their squad it could be anyone but they have a couple of players that can exploit the wings going forward and we’ll be looking to close that off.
 
Michelle – We have already spoken about some of the attacking talent we have on show but without the chances being created things are a lot more difficult – Chloe Shirley has the ability to link up play fantastically to create opportunities for others.
 
Adrian – Everyone in our team has the ability to change a game in a flash. We score goals from all over the pitch so the “whole team” is who you should be afraid of!
 
You currently sit in 10th place in Midlands Division One but are 3 games behind some teams what are your aims and goals for this season?
Laura – I’d love to win the league but realistically I want to finish top 4 and push to worry teams again next season! I’d also love Daisy to come out on top goalscorers for her!
 
Michelle – We firmly believe that we are well placed to push for the top areas of the table – we aim to win every game we have left (I think that’s the only way to go about things!) as we have great belief in our abilities and have the full confidence of our manager to be able to do this.
 
Adrian – I’d like us to win the league, but as we have already dropped points will make this difficult. Top 4 would be a great turnaround based on last season, but there isn’t a team out there who we can’t compete with on our day. My main aim is for all of the players to get the credit that they deserve. We are the underdog, but we have a sharp bite!
 
In the short time I’ve seen the team it seems a group that are always smiling and enjoying playing but who is most likely to…
 
Be in a strop after a loss?
Laura – Sam Berry 100% – she hates it but she’s also very reflective and it’s the one thing I love about her, she’s no no sense!
Michelle – this could be any one of us, we have a very competitive group so don’t take losing very well at all
Adrian – Everyone!
 
Get up and sing a song?
Laura – tough one – first thing I can tell you is no was has a good voice but I’d say Daisy to Graces awful tunes.
Michelle – Most likely Daisy Clements that will burst into song but this often only lasts a few seconds! 
Adrian – Grace Harris
 
Be a troublemaker?
Laura – I think our 3 newcomers this season would all be trouble makers, so Tilly, KJ and Chloe!
Michelle – One of the best things about our group is the togetherness – we don’t have anyone in the group that could be described as a troublemaker!
Adrian – Tilly/KJ/Grace Godwin/Chloe Shirley
 
Who is the joker?
Laura – I’d like to say I’m the joker to be honest, but I reckon everyone else wouldn’t agree! Sam is also a bit to joker too.
Michelle – Probably Aid!! I reckon he’s the biggest child out of all of us!
Adrian – Daisy
 
Is there anything else you would like to add or mention that people might want to know?
Laura – Just get down to Leafield Ladies and support!!
 
Michelle – Just get yourselves along to one of our games and see what we are about. You’ll be made to feel very welcome and might just enjoy the football played too!

Adrian – If you haven’t seen us play, take the time to do it, we are enthusiastic, energetic and are scoring for fun at the moment.