Ward: “Everybody’s Hard Work Has Paid Off”

By: Watford FC Staff

Helen Ward shared her excitement at having captained Watford FC Women to promotion to the FA Women’s Championship.

The Golden Girls’ last FA Women's National League game came in December, when Ward’s brace secured a sixth win of the season to cement the Hornets' place at the top of the league.

The league was then curtailed for a second successive season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Watford FC applied for promotion based on set criteria and The FA approved this on Wedensday.

“The initial feeling is of relief more than anything,” said Ward. “It’s been a long time that we’ve had to wait for the news. Our season ended such a long time ago that it’s been a case of waiting and everyone has been anxious to find out. It’s a relief but the overriding emotion is happiness and excitement.”

Ward is the club’s all-time top scorer over her two spells as a Golden Girl and the striker’s 17 strikes over the previous two curtailed campaigns were vital in the club’s promotion push. Despite her own on-field heroics, she is keen to recognise the hard work that has been put in across the club.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this,” said the forward. “Not only is it the players on the field trying to achieve promotion, but it’s off the pitch.

“I’ve seen all the hard work that has gone in to make a successful application. We’ve got the whole club to thank for backing us with a good application.

“We’ve put ourselves forward in a really good way to achieve this so it’s a really nice feeling to know that everybody’s hard work has paid off.”

The Wales international had a spell in the Championship earlier in the season on a short-term loan with London Bees, while Watford were unable to play or train. She is well aware of the level required in the second tier but believes her team will be ready for the challenges posed.

“It’s going to be a big summer as we’ve only found out the news recently,” said Ward. “Although we may be a couple of weeks behind the others, I know our staff and coaches will have plans in place for us.

“Everyone will be well prepared as we go into pre-season. I’m sure we’ll all get our heads down now and do everything we can to be ready for next season.

“It’s going to be a really big summer for the club but one we’re really looking forward to and I just can’t wait to get going.”

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