Sunderland Ladies boss Melanie Copeland is backing rising star Bridget Galloway to make a name for herself with more goals.
And she would love Galloway to be hitting the headlines again tomorrow when the Lady Black Cats host big-hitters Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Women’s FA Cup.
The two teams meet at Mariners Park (2pm kick-off) with a semi-final place up for grabs on the road to Wembley.
Galloway has quickly become a regular fixture up front in a side that missed the fire-power of Beth Mead following her move to Arsenal.
And the 18-year-old Galloway is in buoyant mood after scoring for England Under-19s in a recent 4-1 win over the Czech Republic in La Manga.
“Bridget has stepped up and taken her opportunity with both hands!” said Copeland.
“I’ve coached her for a long time now through Gateshead College and at Sunderland – and she’s always had the natural talent of putting the ball in the net.
“She has a real striker’s instinct and they are hard to find.”
The Sunderland boss has been delighted with the young forward’s progress, and her willingness to learn.
“Her attitude to work hard is excellent,” said Copeland. “She always gives you 100%.
“We’ve been working on her game understanding and her roles and responsibilities in and out of possession.
“I was delighted she was called up (by England) at the beginning of the year and has since had a further two camps and an England goal.
“She’s come a long way in a short space of time and, with the right attitude and desire, can only get better still.”
Galloway and her team-mates, though, know they face a huge test against Manchester City tomorrow.
City won 3-0 at Sunderland in the league in late January, though their long unbeaten run came to a surprising end last month when they lost 2-0 to Birmingham City.
They also lost the Continental Tyres Cup final 1-0 to Arsenal in midweek, but are chasing leaders Chelsea for the title. They sit a point behind with seven games to go.
Reflecting on the Mariners Park loss to City, Copeland said: “We have analysed the game back and we were happy with certain things we did well and highlighted things which we need to do better.
“We won’t change things too much as consistency is important, but there will be a few changes from the Liverpool game (a 3-1 defeat in Sunderland’s most recent game).”