Alex Scott on her delight to reach the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals, the start of the all-important ‘regen’ period and a prize for team-mate Jordan Nobbs...
It's been a long season but we definitely saved the best till last with our victory over Potsdam in the Champions League last week.
Even in our wildest dreams I don’t think any of us could have predicted such an emphatic result.
After winning the first leg 2-1, I’d have taken a scrappy 1-0 win or even a draw over in Germany, so to win 4-3 — 6-4 on aggregate — was special.
Our manager Laura Harvey said it was one of the most emotional matches she’d ever seen.
She had a point.
I don’t usually get nervous — either before or during games — but I must admit my heart was racing in the second half when they pulled it back to 3-3 on the night.
They threw absolutely everything at us.
I’ve honestly never seen a team put so many players in attack as they went after the victory.
Fortunately we pulled through in the end and now have a quarter-final to look forward to next year, with the draw scheduled for November 27.
The performance of Kelly Smith was key for us.
It was the first time Kelly had played 90 minutes for Arsenal since coming back from injury, but she showed her class when it mattered by scoring a hat-trick.
The win will do so much for our belief, especially for the young players in the team who perhaps aren’t used to playing in big matches.
We really don’t have to fear anyone in the next round, even if I would prefer to avoid Lyon, the reigning champions, at this stage.
It really is a big step up from the Women’s Super League (WSL) to playing in Europe.
In the WSL, each team has a handful of internationals.
In the Champions League, clubs such as Potsdam have players from all the top countries — the US, Sweden and Germany, for example.
This year’s Champions League final is being held at Stamford Bridge, so it gives us added incentive to get there.
It would just be amazing for our home fans and for women’s football in this country.
And, of course, all of my family and friends would be able to go too.
I would’ve preferred it was at the Emirates, of course, but I’ll take Stamford Bridge this time!
The WSL is over now for three and a half months.
We call this time a “regen” period, so it’s all about completely switching off from football.
We’re told to completely forget about the game so that when we return our minds are ready to focus again.
That said, we’ll be training again with England next month, so we really do need to make the most of the short time we have off.
Finally I’d like to congratulate my team-mate Jordan Nobbs for capping a superb season by winning our club players’ player of the year award.
Well done Jordan!
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