How Patrick Bamford, Jesse Marsch and Victor Orta made Leeds United Women finale even better

We’ve got a group chat on our phones involving the Leeds United Women team.

By Catherine Hamill
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 4:45 am

On Sunday, we were on our way back from our season finale at Chester-le-Street following our 5-1 victory and a video message from Victor Orta got added to the group!

It was a video saying well done on a good season and hopefully we can achieve more and things like that, that we go again next season and that we will push on.

It was quite a surprise really as we were just on the bus home after the game and we had the music on and what have you. We were obviously quite upbeat after the result.

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MESSAGE: From Leeds United's no 9 Patrick Bamford, above, to the Leeds United Women team after their season finale victory at Chester-le-Street. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images.

But then Victor’s video got added to the group and then 10 minutes later we got a video message from Patrick Bamford too saying well done and see you next season.

We thought that was it but then the next day there was one from Jesse Marsch too!

That’s just so nice and positive and a good confidence boost for us going into next season.

It gives us a nice feeling following the years when we got forgotten about.

When I first came up to open-age football here at Leeds in 2014, I was 17 and that was the same year that the team disbanded from the club.

But now you can see the difference. We have been a lot more supported and they actually know we are there.

It’s nice to get those messages and that support.

We’ve ended up finishing fourth in our division and we’ve had quite a strong finish to the season so we went into the game feeling quite confident knowing that we had done well in the last few games.

Since the beginning of April we have won or drawn most games, we haven’t lost, so we went in quite confident.

It was the last game of the season and we knew we couldn’t get promoted but we still wanted a third-place finish and we could look after what we could do.

You obviously want to win every game but we just thought ‘win this and, hopefully, the other result goes our way in Durham’.

It didn’t but we did all we could at the end of the season.

It’s meant a fourth-place finish and, at the start of the season, we were looking at higher so it is disappointing in that sense.

We had a bit of a rocky patch in the middle.

But we have managed to turn that around so it’s pleasing to end the season on a high although also frustrating because we have taken four points from the third-placed team and also champions Liverpool Feds who have got promoted now.

Only one team gets promoted which is really frustrating and that’s one for another day. I find that crazy.

But we have also frustrated ourselves as we can produce the goods against these teams but then we’ll turn up against the teams at the bottom or towards the bottom and take a draw.

It’s like how do we do that?! It’s weird.

You do all of the hard work against the top-of-the-table teams but then you lose it and it’s like what is the point in producing that performance for that high-end team and then losing it at the bottom. It’s just weird how we work.

But we’ve finished with a spring in our step; you always want to end on a high and it wasn’t just that game on Sunday but the past few games.

We had the County Cup final which we drew and lost on penalties and I felt we were the better team in the second half.

So we know we can play against the higher teams and now we will go in with a bit more confidence come pre-season.

Laura Bartup notched a brace on Sunday to take her tally for the season to 21 which has made her joint-top scorer in the division with Newcastle’s Katie Barker.

She’s a really good player, obviously, as you’d need to be to score that many goals in a season and be joint-top.

She’s had a couple of hat-tricks in some games which has helped! But she’s a really good player to have up front.

She is a target player and she’s what you want, a tall player to hopefully hold the ball up and get the goals as well.

She got a couple on Sunday and one on Wednesday night and when she is on the pitch you expect her to score which is what you want your forwards to do.

Now we have our summer break ahead of us and it’s usually around mid-June that we come back.

It’s quite a long pre-season really before the start of the new season in August.

But I’ll soon miss it as I do like my routine although I have a week in Ibiza to look forward to as well at the start of June when I’ll be there for my 25th birthday.

It will be nice to celebrate.

In football terms, I’m not getting any younger but, luckily, I’m a centre-back. Sometimes that means you can push on a few more years!

But I wouldn’t say I am in my prime yet so, hopefully, things can only get better.