Arsenal Ladies defender sets her sights on winning first trophy
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Defender Jemma Rose is aiming to top off a successful debut season at Arsenal by winning the first silverware of her career.
Rose, who joined the Gunners from Bristol Academy last year, has been an ever-present in the club’s Women’s Super League campaign, forging a solid partnership at the back alongside Casey Stoney.
And the 23-year-old now has an opportunity to pick up her first winners’ medal next month after helping Arsenal to reach their fifth consecutive Continental Cup final.
The Gunners will face Notts County at Rotherham’s New York Stadium on November 1 after overcoming Birmingham City 3-1 in Sunday’s semi-final tie at Meadow Park, Borehamwood.
“Historically, Arsenal are probably the most successful team in women’s football,” said Rose. “They’ve won so many league trophies, cups and even the Champions League.
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“But I’ve never won a trophy, so this game will be massive for me and I definitely want to win it. Winning my first ever cup would mean a lot to me and to my family as well, so I’m looking forward to it.
“I think we showed our character [against Birmingham]. It was a really physical game and we matched that physicality and came away with the win.
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“It’s a really good feeling to go through. We’ve had a few injuries during the season – players like Vicky Losada and Jordan Nobbs were both out for some time, then Leah Williamson and now Emma Mitchell.
“But I think we’re finding our form now and we want to take that form into the final and win the trophy.”
Sunday’s result represented a third successive victory in all competitions for Pedro Martinez Losa’s side – and it looked as if they would record the same number of clean sheets as well.
Goals from Marta Corredera, Dani Carter and Alex Scott gave Arsenal a 3-0 lead, but the Blues pulled one back with a stunning drive into the top corner from Kirsty Linnett.
Nevertheless, Rose is pleased by the Gunners’ growing defensive solidity in recent weeks and credits her team-mates, particularly Stoney, for their progress in that department.
“I’ve played with Kirsty in the England Under-23s for a long time and I’ve seen her score a lot of goals like that, especially against good teams like the USA and Germany,” admitted Rose.
“So I knew she was capable of scoring a great goal and there wasn’t a lot we could do to stop that. But overall we’ve been conceding fewer goals in both the league and cup and I feel we’re getting more solid at the back.
“I’ve played alongside Casey all season and I’m definitely learning a lot off her. She’s got so many caps for England and she’s played in the top leagues, with so many experienced players.
“I think we complement each other’s style – Casey’s more technical with the ball and we work well together. It’s quite similar with Alex Scott – Alex likes to get forward and I like to defend.
“It took me a while to get used to the Arsenal style. At Bristol there were a few more long balls, here we like to get the ball down and play and I think that suits my game now.”
The central defender, who has won England caps at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-23 levels, is yet to gain full international recognition despite being named in Mark Sampson’s senior squad.
But Rose is hopeful of making the breakthrough in the near future if she continues to impress for Arsenal, adding: “Pedro’s improved me as a player and in terms of mentality as well.
“I think Pedro knew when he signed me that I was a hard worker and, if I showed my talent on the pitch and in training, then ultimately I’d play.
“Being at Arsenal has certainly improved me as a player, game by game, and I know Mark [Sampson] tends to pick players in form.
“My dream has always been to play for England and I’m going to do everything I can to be in that squad. I’ve got to keep working hard, concentrate on Arsenal and hopefully that comes along with it.”