Author Topic: Arsenal rule European roost  (Read 864 times)

Offline David

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Arsenal rule European roost
« on: September 10, 2007, 07:29:56 PM »
With the second qualifying round of the UEFA Women's Cup starting in October will take a detailed look at each of the 16 clubs looking to progress to the quarter-finals and beyond. We begin in Group A with holders Arsenal LFC.

Founded in 1987 as the sister club of the famous north London men's side, Arsenal LFC have thrived under the stewardship of general manager Vic Akers. They have claimed three domestic trebles, nine league titles, nine League Cups, eight FA Cups and, last season, the UEFA Women's Cup. The club can boast dedicated employees, with Clare Wheatley, Ciara Grant and Faye White all working full-time to develop and co-ordinate the women's teams, while three other players oversee youth development.

Maiden treble
Arsenal won their first league title back in 1992/93 and finished outside the top two in the English league just four times in the first 15 years of the competition's existence. That same season also saw them win their first FA Cup, completing a famous campaign with a League Cup success too. With the inception of the UEFA Women's Cup in 2001/02, Arsenal have seen plenty of action in Europe. They were beaten quarter-finalists in the inaugural edition and again in 2005/06 while they reached the last four in 2003/04 and 2004/05 only to miss out on a place in the final on both occasions.

Ongoing process
However, last season they beat Brøndby IF 5-2 on aggregate to become the first non-German or Scandinavian finalists, and then Alex Phillips's long-range strike late in the away leg at Umeå IK gave Arsenal a European title-clinching 1-0 lead that remained after the home return. Phillips is among a host of England players in the Arsenal squad, including captain Faye White and playmaker Kelly Smith, and they also boast other stars from across the British Isles including Wales's Jayne Ludlow, Scotland striker Julie Fleeting and Irish goalkeeper Emma Byrne.