Nicole Hendrick

Midfielder Nicole Hendrick describes her first experience of the Posh Women first-team as ‘surreal’ after making her debut earlier this month.

April will be marked as quite a memorable month for Peterborough United Women after retaining their status in the FA Women’s National League at the first-time of asking and could wrap up the month with silverware on Sunday (3pm) when they face Northampton Town Women in the Northants Women’s County Cup final.

The last month has also been a special occasion for development squad player Nicole Hendrick, who made her debut for the first team in the 5-0 victory against Wem Town Ladies at the beginning of April – the game that ultimately sealed their place in the National League for next season – and the midfielder has reflected on a ‘surreal’ couple of weeks after being involved for Posh Women, training and matchdays.

“These past few weeks have been surreal to be part of”, Hendrick said. “It has been a good step-up and a learning experience for myself, especially after I started to train with the first-team last month and get to know the players a bit more. Then, to be given that opportunity to make my debut was a surreal moment but one I had to take as you only get one chance to impress, and hopefully I have proven that in these last few games.”

“For that game against Wem Town, I was just there waiting and ready to come on, and knowing that it was a big game, I knew when I was given the chance to come on, I had to put a good performance in. So, I kind of put aside any emotions of making my debut and just concentrated on the game, helping the team pick up an important victory and that made the moment even more special.”

Hendrick, who has been at the club since the age of eight and progressed through the player pathway, made 15 appearances for the reserves in the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League and the midfielder spoke about the differences between the divisions, acknowledging the journey through player pathway has helped her for this occasion.

“The step-up has been quite noticeable, the flow of the game is much quicker than the development squad and you have less time on the ball, which means you have to be switched on every minute of the game and react well under-pressure.

“You get so many different opportunities during the player pathway at the squad, starting with development and elite centres that allowed you to play against good teams before progressing onto the scholarship, which has helped me make that jump into senior football to development squad and first-team level.”

Posh Women Manager Dan Lawlor said: “Nicole is a great player that has been training with us for the past few weeks, I wanted to slowly integrate her into the first-team before the end of the season and with some of the injuries we have picked up, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get her involved. Her cameos in the last few games have been really positive, but I expected that from what she has shown us so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops ready for next season.”

Posh Women face Northampton Town Women in the Northants Women’s County Cup final on Sunday afternoon (3pm) at Steel Park, the home of Corby Town FC. Updates from the game will be available on our twitter account @theposhwomen, with coverage starting at 1:30pm.