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gilly flaherty

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Two Chelsea Ladies players helped England Ladies gain a respectable 0-0 draw against Germany. 

Striker Fran Kirby and defender Gilly Flaherty both started for Mark Sampson’s side, with fellow Blues’ strikers Gemma Davison and Eniola Aluko spending the game on the bench in Duisburg.

Kirby was replaced by Jess Clarke with 15 minutes remaining, whilst Flaherty played a full game.

In the first game between the two countries since England beat Germany to take third place at the Women’s World Cup last summer, both Demi Stokes and Jill Scott wasted early chances to put the visitors into the lead.

However, Babett Peter, who scored an own goal for Wolfsburg in Chelsea’s Champions League quarter final defeat, saw a strike whistle past the post, with England keeper Karen Bardsley being the busier goalkeeper.

The draw does however cement England in fifth place in the world rankings, with the Three Lions taking on Bosnia Herzegovina in a Euro 2017 qualifier on Sunday.

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Four Chelsea Ladies players have been selected for England’s Euro 2017 Qualifier against Bosnia Herzegovina. 

Defender Gilly Flaherty has been selected by Mark Sampson along with strikers Gemma Davison, Eniola Aluko and Fran Kirby.

The game, which will take place in Bristol on Sunday, is England’s first home game since their third place finish at the Women’s World Cup in the summer.


England squad in full

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Rachael Laws (Sunderland), Carly Telford (Notts County).

Defenders: Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Notts County), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Jemma Rose (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Amy Turner (Notts County).

Midfielders: Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Liverpool).

Forwards: Eni Aluko (Chelsea), Jess Clarke (Notts County), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns), Ellen White (Notts County).

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Chelsea Ladies progressed to the round of 16 in the Champions League as they beat Glasgow Ladies 0-3 at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie, with a 4-0 aggregate scoreline.

After the Blues’ 1-0 win in Staines in the first leg, goals from Eniola Aluko, Fran Kirby and Gilly Flaherty ensuring a comfortable win for Emma Hayes’ side.

Despite making Glasgow keeper Lee Alexander come off her line on several occasions, neither side really made an impact upfront in the first half as Chelsea seemed keen to defend their lead established last week.

However, England striker Aluko did break the deadlock after 22 minutes, skipping across the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful yet accurate strike into the top left hand corner, putting the visitors in control.

The host’s best chance came just before the hour mark, Clare Shine seeing her shot blocked by Blues keeper Hedvig Lindahl.

But, a minute later, Kirby grabbed the second and effectively the match. The former Reading striker was given too much space on the edge of the box, and made no mistake with a thunderous and swerving strike past Alexander.

Four minutes later, Chelsea added more gloss to the scoreline as Flaherty was found unmarked in the box by a wonderful cross from Ji So-Yun, the Blues vice-captain heading in from eight yards out.

Aluko then smacked the woodwork and missed another good chance, but it didn’t matter as Chelsea continued their European journey.

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Eight Chelsea Ladies players, including an uncapped trio, have been called up to the England side as the Female Three Lions prepare to face China and Australia in an international friendly tournament.

Defender Hannah Blundell and midfielders Drew Spence and Laura Coombs have all been called up to Mark Sampson’s squad for the first time, along with fellow defenders Claire Rafferty and Gilly Flaherty and strikers Fran Kirby, Eniola Aluko and Gemma Davison.

The call-ups represent the success of the Ladies team last season, as Emma Hayes’ side lifted their first ever piece of silverware by winning the FA Cup at Wembley, before completing a domestic double by lifting their first WSL1 title on the last day of the season.

Also in Sampson’s 21-woman squad is Sunderland striker Beth Mead, another player receiving her first ever call-up despite being the WSL’s top scorer last season, with 12 goals.

Only one Arsenal player is included in the form of full-back Alex Scott, and there are no Notts County players included as the Magpies prepare to face Arsenal in the Continental Tyres Cup Final on 1st November.

The full England squad:

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Mary Earps (Bristol Academy), Rachael Laws (Sunderland).

Defenders: Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Laura Coombs (Chelsea), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Drew Spence (Chelsea)

Forwards: Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Sunderland), Lianne Sanderson (Portland Thorns), Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns)


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Chelsea Ladies vice-captain Gilly Flaherty has insisted that the pressure of winning the treble was not a factor in their Continental Cup defeat.

The Blues lost 1-0 in the quarter finals to fellow WSL1 side Birmingham City thanks to Jo Potter’s freekick, with Birmingham currently languishing second from bottom in the domestic table.

Chelsea have however already won the FA Women’s Cup, and are two points clear at the top of the WSL1 table with two games remaining (Liverpool away and Sunderland at home).

Despite the somewhat disappointing defeat, Flaherty has insisted that the pressure coming into the game wasn’t on any of the Chelsea players’ minds:

We approached this cup in the same way that we approached the league and the FA Cup,” the 24-year old told BBC Sport.

“It was something that we took seriously. Last year we got to the semi-finals – we wanted to go one more this year and get to the final.

“If you are up there with the best, you have to accept that pressure. I don’t think it affected us.

“We weren’t really at the game. Birmingham showed up and we didn’t.

“Don’t take the credit away from Birmingham. They were the better team and deserved to get into a semi-final.

“It’s tough to break down that (defensive) wall. But we’ve got to find a solution because we might face it again, in the next two games in the league.”


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Chelsea Ladies defender Gilly Flaherty has said that everyone at the club has now nurtured a winning mentality after their FA Women’s Cup Final success.

The Blues lifted their first ever piece of silverware with their 1-0 victory over Notts County, in the first final of the competition ever to be held at Wembley.

Flaherty, who had previously won the cup five times with former club Arsenal, has now said that the cup win will have long-lasting positive effects as Chelsea try to lift their first WSL title:

“Before that final, only a few of us were champions, winning previously in some way,” she told BBC London 94.9.

“But now every single person at our club is a champion.

“Everyone here is a winner.

“There’s a new breed of confidence among the players and it’s made them hungry for more.

“You can’t beat that feeling of winning with your mates. We want to experience it more. We don’t just want to be a one-off club who win once – we want to win plenty more trophies.”

Chelsea were yesterday drawn against Scottish champions Glasgow City in the Women’s Champions League, in what will be their debut in the competition, and Chelsea vice-captain Flaherty has spoken of her anticipation of the game:

“I think it’s a great tie for us.

“We played Glasgow in pre-season this year so we know a little bit about them.

“We were looking out for the big teams, i.e. Lyon, PSG, Wolfsburg. We managed to miss the big ones in there and got a very exciting draw.

“Glasgow are a great team, they’ve got a great set-up so we know it’s not going to be easy against them.”

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Chelsea Ladies returned to the top of the WSL table after brushing aside Birmingham City 4-0, with Fran Kirby scoring on her debut.

Kirby emphatically rounded off the scoring after Eniola Aluko netted a double and Gilly Flaherty’s strike had given the Blues a commanding lead.

However, Gemma Davison was dismissed by referee Paul Forrester for receiving two yellow cards, the former midfielder given her marching orders after getting her second booking for diving with  the score at 1-0.

However, the win continues the Ladies’ good form after winning the FA Women’s Cup last weekend.

And it was the star of Chelsea’s Wembley date, Aluko, who set the game alight with her pace. The England striker was unlucky not to score sooner, being denied by a fine fingertip save from Birmingham keeper Rebecca Spencer.

However, after Davison fired over, Ji So-Yun led a swift counter-attack which resulted in Aluko turning in Drew Spence’s rebounded shot.

But, rather than letting Davison’s dismissal change the game negatively, poor marking allowed Flaherty to shoot in a second on the turn, as the first half drew to a close.

In the second half, the home side again dominated. Birmingham barely threatened, although Jo Potter saw a beautiful curling shot bounce agonisingly wide.

Emma Hayes’ side then sealed the win, with Aluko calmly placing her penalty after Aoife Mannion’s handball.

Kirby, who looked sharp on her debut, then stole the limelight when she scored on her debut after her move from Reading Ladies for a British record fee. The England striker ran through and smashed a fourth goal past Spencer.



In the league’s other games, Arsenal missed out on their chance to retake top spot after losing 2-3 to Manchester City. Lucy Bronze headed City into a deserved first-half lead, but Alex Scott’s dipping effort brought the Gunners level. Izzie Christiansen restored the visitors’ lead, before Toni Duggan curled in a stunning third. Natalia pulled one back for Arsenal, but City saw the game out, retaining their 100% record since the World Cup. The result sees City move to within three points of Chelsea, with a game in hand.

Sunderland moved to second after scoring a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Liverpool. Beth Mead opened the scoring for the Black Cats with a penalty, before the Reds came back from behind to lead 1-2 thanks to goals from Natasha Dowie, who scored a 30 yard lob, and Rosie White. However, Kelly MacDougal equalised late on to rescue a point. Despite Liverpool missing an open goal and hnitting the post in injury time, they stay sixth.

Notts County fell to a disappointing 0-1 defeat to Bristol Academy on Friday, giving them their first win this season. Jade Boho Sayo scored the only goal, heading in a deflected shot in the first half. Sayo, who had only just returned from a 4,000-mile round trip due to international commitments, has scored in all four of the Vixens’ games since her summer move. Laura Bassett then fired over the bar from six yards as the hosts looked to equalise, but they were unable to draw level.


Chelsea Ladies: Lindahl, Blundell, Fahey, Flaherty, Borges, Bright, Chapman, Spence (Coombs, 71′), Davison, Aluko (Kirby, 58′), Ji (Banusic, 74′).

Subs not used: Hourihan, Meiwald, Primus.

Birmingham City Ladies: Spencer, Sargent (Ayisi, 45′), Mannion, Harrop, Lawley, Winsall, Allen, Carney (Wellings, 50′), Potter, Linnett.

Subs not used: Baggeley, Edwards, Westwood, Torkildsen, Haines.

Attendance: 851

Referee: Paul Forrester


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Chelsea Ladies vice-captain Gilly Flaherty has revealed that the men’s captain, John Terry, saved the women’s side from crashing out of the game.

The Female Blues had their funding cut in 2009, prompting serious doubts over whether the team would continue to function.

However, after hearing of this predicament, Terry stepped in to help, and along with several teammates delved into his own pocket to help fund the Ladies revival.

The 34-year old was appointed, and still remains, the president of Chelsea Ladies, who on Saturday take on Notts County in the FA Women’s Cup Final, which, should they win, will be their first ever piece of silverware.

Despite success not arriving overly quickly, the Blues are now starting to invest heavily on the women’s team, as the popularity of the female game worldwide continues to grow.

Flaherty was still an Arsenal player when Terry volunteered to assist his female counterparts, but is fully aware of the contribution of the Premier League veteran:

“He got hold of some money and saved the women’s team,” Flaherty said.

Despite Terry being ridiculed multiple times throughout his career, Flaherty, who is also a defender, has revealed that the Ladies are simply proud of, and inspired by, their benefactor, and that trophy success is the only way that this favour can be repaid:

“He’s our president and if you want players from the men’s team to recognise us and appreciate what we do, I believe we have to be successful.

“Everyone at Arsenal knew about the Arsenal Ladies because we won more trophies than the Arsenal men’s team, and that’s what we have to instil.

“The mentality of Chelsea is that they’re winners. We need to bring success to this club to show we are good enough. It’s only a matter of time before we start bringing silverware to this club.

“They bend over backwards for us. We’ve got to thank our chairman, Bruce Buck. All they want, the people higher up, is trophies and for us to do well. That’s our responsibility.”

The 23-year old has also spoken of her excitement of the Final this Saturday, the first Women’s FA Cup Final to be held at Wembley.

“If you’d told me even 12 months ago that we’d be playing it [the Final] at Wembley, I’d have said ‘You’re mad,’ because I wouldn’t have thought it possible.

“It’s going to be a dream come true for a lot of people, but we want to make good memories of it.”







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Chelsea Ladies defender Gilly Flaherty has said that she and her Blues teammates are ready to make history in the FA Women’s Cup Final on Saturday.

Flaherty’s side take on Notts County at 15:00 GMT in the first FA Women’s Cup Final ever to take place at Wembley, and a win would secure the Ladies’ first ever piece of silverware.

Flaherty has won the competition five times with her former club Arsenal, but said that losing to Everton in 2010 still hurts.

Blues skipper Katie Chapman and striker Eniola Aluko have also won the trophy with former clubs. Chelsea have been in a final of the competition before, losing 3-2 on penalties to Birmingham in 2012 after drawing 2-2.

But, as the final beckons against a County side who have never reached this stage before in their history, Flaherty has said she is determined to deliver:

“It’s the biggest game in the club’s history, and hopefully it’s going to be a great occasion, but I don’t just want it to be a good occasion, I want to go there and win.

“The fact we have it at Wembley shows how far we have come in the women’s game.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have been involved in many cup finals in my time and won a few, but I’ve also been on the losing side as well and I don’t want to do that again. That loss against Everton will certainly be driving me on when Saturday comes.

“The win against Bristol in 2013, the year after we lost against Chelsea in the semi-finals funnily enough, is probably my favourite FA Cup win, because a lot of people were against us.”




Chelsea midfielder Kenedy, on loan at Newcastle United, has avoided retrospective action for his off-the-ball challenge on Cardiff City's Victor Camarasa last Saturday. The Brazilian winger appeared to...