EMILE HESKEY joked his first trip away from Leicester Women that coincided with a 4-1 defeat may not be the ‘luckiest omen’.
But the Foxes hero believes the team can take on their WSL rivals in the coming term.
Former England striker, 43 years old and club owner Jonathan Morgan spoke a few days later Leicester’s victory in the Women’s Championship.
Their success after a streak of 12 wins in a season saw them lose just once in 18 matches played so far.
And the promotion – guaranteed after the Foxes beat the City of London this month – was the icing cake for Morgan and for Heskey, who took over the position of coaching in February.
“Our match against London City Lionesses (in November) was one of my first away games and it was probably not the luckiest omen at the time,” said Heskey.
“But it’s great to see players play from strength to strength and do their best to let us win the league title by beating London City, the only team to beat them. I.
“It’s an honor to be asked comes first as an ambassador and then Jonathan and the staff hugged me to begin coaching.
“The manager has made the girls better than we see with the way they play.
“We were against WSL group (like Birmingham) in cup competitions and showing that we can hold our own.
“And it was due to the preparation the manager gave it as well as the girls and their performance.”
Morgan and Heskey joked about not mingling before opening up about how admiring each other drove their progress. Leicester who will face Liverpool next in the Women’s FA Cup.
And Morgan – who celebrated his 33rd birthday – said that it was interesting to work with the former Liverpool striker, whom he will name after scoring in matches during his childhood.
“Emile has attended two World Cups, two European championships and he still came more humbly than ever,” said Morgan.
“It can be very easy for someone to intrude and control or use what they’ve been through in the wrong way.
“But Emile hasn’t done it in any way and we are a very tight coaching group.”
Leicester’s rise as a WSL side has been more than seven years in the process of building the club relegated to 4th in May 2013.
And Morgans, including Rohan, Jonathan’s father, and sisters Holly and Jade – who served as the team’s captain and general manager – have been at the center of their transition.
This includes a move that sees the women’s team be acquired by owner King Power’s their Premier League partners.
Morgan added: “The club’s philosophy is family-based and I think that’s why our transition from semi-professional to professional has been so seamless.
“The people in the club have an emotional investment in the women’s team, that’s great.
“I don’t think many women who blend in with the men’s team have that feeling, and we are very fortunate to do that.”
The Foxes’ came in WSL Next term will see some of the team’s younger players get a taste of the top performance for the first time.
Among them was Shannon O’Brien, who in November took on the position of Co-op shop assistant while playing for Coventry United before moving to January.
The 19-year-old center-back scored an instant double in his second appearance in a 7-0 win over London Bees.
O’Brien said: “At the beginning of the season, I was at Coventry and it was a relegation fight and I didn’t really hold a lot of balls.
“I don’t really think in a few months you’ll lift the trophy by the end of May. But now I’m here and win the championship.
“All of my friends and family are thrilled to see us get up. Everyone was like ‘see you on TV next year’.
“Going forward, we want to win the two championship games that we have left and go to the next round of the FA Cup.”
And Heskey, who made 154 appearances for Leicester between 1994 and 2000, believes the level of relevance could spur players’ careers at the top.
Heskey added: “With this new deal and investment in you can really motivate these players not only at our club but also at clubs across the country.”
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