Zadorsky ready for Emirates Stadium ‘buzz’

Spurs’ Canadian international looks ahead to north London derby

Thursday, 28th April — By Catherine Etoe

Tottenham v Arsenal – Womens Super League – The Hive London

Arsenal’s Katie McCabe tussles with Spurs’ Maeva Clemaron when the north London rivals battled out a 1-1 draw in November at The Hive

THE north London derby is all set for next Wednesday and Spurs skipper Shelina Zadorsky hopes it will be a memorable night under the lights for her team and their fans.

“Playing Arsenal at the Emirates will be a special memory and one we’ll want to be proud of,” she said. “We’ll want to put out a performance that makes Tottenham fans feel proud [too].”

Canadian international Zadorsky had to lead Spurs out against Arsenal in an empty Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the FA Women’s Super League last season due to Covid restrictions.

Supporters are back for this midweek derby, though, with Arsenal expecting the biggest attendance for the women at the Emirates this season. And Spurs’ Olympic gold and bronze medal-winning defender believes a match in the men’s stadium is a win-win for the sport.

“I think it’s incredible to see the growth of the women’s game in this country,” Zadorsky said.

“Making the decision to come to the WSL was one of the best in my career.

“This league just keeps showing how beautiful the game can be in the WSL [and] to play in men’s stadiums is just another credit to building the fanbase, creating a buzz around women’s football.

“I mean, who doesn’t want to play a derby game on a beautiful pitch like that? And to have young girls watching that game, hopefully there in the stands, I think it’s just incredible.”

Zadorsky, 29, arrived from US club Orlando Pride in August 2020 and has just agreed to extend her stay at Tottenham by another year. She added that living in the capital had given her a new understanding of the mentality that makes a north London derby special.

“Back in Canada I would watch the Premier League all the time,” she said. “So it’s really amazing to be in a country where football is embedded in the culture.

“I love it, because I’m a bit of a football nerd, and I think having that rivalry gives you even more passion for the game.”

Champagne on ice

Spurs came close to handing Arsenal hope in the title race on Sunday, drawing 1-1 at half-time with table-toppers Chelsea, who had lost keeper Ann-Katrin Berger to a red card.

But the defending champions fought back to win 3-1, prompting former Parliament Hill School pupil Emma Hayes to quip: “At 35 minutes, everybody is putting the champagne out for the team down north London. We’ve gone from, ‘they are going to lose it’, to ‘this is going to the wire’.”

“We cannot lose a game, that’s all I know,” the Chelsea boss added.

Spurs could still play their part in deciding which team pops the champagne corks come May 8, as they are set to face Chelsea again tonight (Thursday).

Arsenal remain in the chase after overcoming Everton 3-0, with Beth Mead and Jordan Nobbs scoring their 50th WSL goals after Caitlin Foord had opened the scoring. They entertain Aston Villa at Meadow Park this Sunday, live on BBC1.

Giving back

Gunner Lotte Wubben-Moy has signed a new contract that includes work with Arsenal in the Community and girls and women from Camden and Islington. It was her own idea, the 23-year-old defender said, and it will include a weekly two-hour programme of sessions which she will have built and hopes to attend.

“My focuses will be art, reading and the environ­ment, and using football to underpin that,” she added.

“It will serve girls and young women for the duration of my contract and I’ll be part of it, giving my time and energy to giving back to these kids.”

Related Articles