[Editor’s note — Please welcome Abbie, our newest contributor at Cartilage Free Captain! Abbie will be covering the Spurs Women beat.]
Ashleigh Neville has been lighting up the FAWSL all season. After registering two goals, one assist, and two clean sheets in two games, she has the FAWSL Player of the Month award to show for it.
February saw Spurs secure wins over Brighton and Birmingham City, and Ash was spectacular in both. Her second-half appearance against Brighton turned a somewhat tenuous lead into a four-goal romp. It was almost impossible not to watch her–popping up in space to rob Brighton of the ball, combining with Asmita Ale, sending in clever crosses (including the one that Kyah Simon put away for the fourth goal), and of course, smashing home her own 1v1 chance against Brighton’s keeper.
She added another well-rounded performance against Birmingham City. She worked tirelessly both pressing and providing an outlet against a compact Birmingham side in the first half. After coach Rehanne Skinner moved her to the opposite wing in the second half, she scored the opening goal while still maintaining her defensive duties.
Breaking down the numbers— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) March 3, 2022
2️⃣ Clean Sheets
1️⃣ Player of the Month award pic.twitter.com/wxmOtXehv9
Ash has always been good, but her recent successes have come after coach Rehanne Skinner started deploying her farther up the pitch.
“I was obviously expecting to go on at full-back and then Rehanne called me over and was like… ‘I’m going to stick you on the right wing’ and I was startled. I’ve played there before but it’s probably been nine or ten years,” Ash said, in an interview with the Guardian.
The new role is clearly a good fit. She’s consistently looked dangerous, and with a little luck and better finishing, she probably could’ve registered even more goals and assists.
“I got two in two last year as well, and I’m hoping to break that curse and get a few more goals in the next few games,” she told SpursTV.
I hope she can break that curse, too. She’s been a crucial player and a joy to watch. If she continues her stellar form, Tottenham will only benefit.
Neville beat out five other nominees to win: Jess Carter and Ann-Katrin Berger of Chelsea, Jemma Purfield and Ashleigh Plumptre of Leicester City, and Alisha Lehmann of Aston Villa. Her goal against Brighton was also nominated for a goal of the month award, but lost out to an absolute cracker from Weir (seriously, you should watch it if you haven’t already).
Ash has been a difference maker for Tottenham for a long time. She won Tottenham’s Player of the Year award in 2017-2018, the same year she joined from Coventry United. She was also the FAWC Player of the month in April 2019, and helped the team earn promotion to the FAWSL during that season.
Ashleigh Neville is the first Tottenham player to win the FAWSL Player of the Month award, and we hope she’s paving the way for many more.
Do you love Ashleigh Neville as much as I do? You can read more about her here...