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Captain Harrop celebrates landmark

The defender, who has enjoyed 18 years at the club, is the second most capped player in the FA Women’s Super League.

BCFC

Birmingham City Women’s captain Kerys Harrop celebrated making her 175th competitive appearance with three points in a 3-2 win against Chelsea Women.

The defender, who has enjoyed 18 years at the club, is the second most capped player in the FA Women’s Super League. Harrop discusses the landmark occasion, wearing the captain’s armband, how life at Blues has changed and her ambitions.

I’ve been at the club since I was 10 years old and I’ve put in a number of appearances in the Women’s Super League, so it’s a proud achievement for me.

To make my 175th appearance in a win like that was a nice way to cap off a landmark. Maybe it was written in the stars. Who knows?

But I’m really pleased and chuffed for not just the girls, but everyone involved at the club. I don’t think we’ve ever beaten Chelsea away, so it just shows how much we’ve come on as a team since I’ve been here.

And hopefully now this will keep us in the title race.

At the very beginning I was under the captaincy of Laura Bassett, who was a role model for me. She nurtured me into the player that I am today and hopefully I’m doing the same to some of the girls we have here by demonstrating captain abilities not just on the pitch, but off it too. Every time I pull on the captain’s armband, it’s a proud moment for me.

Back in 2011, at the start of the WSL, we had a really good team and we were very successful. We were in the Champions League, winning the FA Cup, getting to the Continental Cup final and then we had a blip where we didn’t do so well.

But now, we’re back on the rise and playing at the same level as we were back then. A lot has changed since then and now there’s more input from the men’s side, making it more professional all round. It’s progressing more and more.

Being full-time professionals makes all the difference because we can get on the pitch a lot more and have more access to facilities that are a lot better quality. We can come in for analysis and play more as a team, which is starting to show now in our performances especially this year.

We started the project with Marc [Skinner] really, which is around the time we became full-time, and it’s paying off now.

We’re being recognised in the league as the Birmingham that wants to play and keep possession.

This season we’ve enjoyed ourselves but the week we played Arsenal and lost to Bristol, that was the pinnacle of us being affected by it all. It was a big loss losing Marc but to come back now and get the win just shows that we’ve put it behind us.

We’ve got to move on now, that’s life.

I know he’ll be really chuffed for us all at the club, but now we’ve got to push on. We have a big game next weekend in the FA Cup and winning today has put us in a good frame of mind for that.

I definitely want to get to the FA Cup final again. I joked with Marta [Tejedor] how when Marc first came in we got him to the final, so now Marta’s come in we’ve got to get her there too! I think the focus is on the FA Cup and winning every league game coming up, while hoping that the others slip up and we get top two.

*records made from the start of the 2011 FA WSL season.

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