Eloise Copson

Defender Elloise Copson reflected on another impressive defensive display against Doncaster Rovers Belles and the relationship with her fellow defenders.

Since the turn of the year, Peterborough United Women have put in some excellent performances to help climb up the FA Women’s National League table, specifically, in the defensive areas that has only seen them concede more than two goals on one occasion in 2022.

Manager Dan Lawlor has reshaped his backline since being appointed as the first-team manager, introducing three at the back, and Copson has been at the heart of that, putting in impressive performances, week in, week out, including in the goalless draw against Doncaster Rovers Belles last weekend.

“The whole back three and everyone else as a defensive hold did well to keep out the quality from Doncaster Rovers Belles, we were quite composed on the ball, including myself and was positive with it as well. In previous games, I would usually play it back to the goalkeeper, but I have become more confident on the ball and starting to look forward on more occasions.

“Those type of performances against the top sides in this division, especially keeping a clean sheet, gives myself so much confidence, having the ability to put a challenge in and win the ball back. Sunday’s performance was made better when they took off their winger, showing that you have done your job well and that really bolster my confidence.”

Copson played on the right-hand side of the back-three, with fellow scholarship player Niamh Connor and Evie Driscoll-King, who joined the club in January, partnering her for the draw on Sunday and had the experienced Natalie Hurst sitting just in-front, and the defender spoke highly of her teammates.

“It has worked really well since it has been introduced from Dan, Niamh is a strong and a very composed defender and so is Evie, who has been brilliant since joining the club. To play alongside those two, which they both have plenty of experience as well, has been great and made me more relaxed on the pitch knowing I have two very good defenders next to me. Nat has also been excellent with me, helping me gain more confidence and develop my game. She’s very loud, so will communicate to me on the pitch or even in training.”

The defender, who still plays for the Posh Scholarship during the week, made her debut for the Posh Women at the beginning of the season and has gone onto make 22 appearances in all competitions, describing how much she feels she has improved during that period of time.

“It has been one of the best experiences, especially only being 16 years old, to make the starting eleven and play consistently at this level has boosted my confidence, now looking forward to what else I can achieve at Posh. Dan has helped massively since he joined the club, he has been very technical with the stuff he says and that helps me improve on my game.

“Hopefully we can pick as many points as possible before the end of the season and finish strongly. As a team, we have aims of finishing around mid-table and that is still possible, but I’m looking forward to these final few games as they’re some tough and challenging games coming up.”