A late starter to the game, Arnold Eagles captain, Jennifer Lorimer, finally picked up her first championship medal at the end of last season, leading her side to the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Division One North.
In fact, it’s been some 25 years or so since she started out, taking in spells at clubs in Calverton, and Gedling, before dedicating her career to the cause at Neil Matthews’ Arnold Eagles, where she’s been for the past decade now.
The time at Arnold, which was intersected by a brief spell, a few years back, by a spell at Rise Park Ladies (now Basford United) due to her finding her continual need to play at as high a level as possible.
“I played at both Arnold, and the old Rise Park, the season Arnold were playing at county level (2018-19), explained Jennifer.
“It was a challenge, more physical as well, but I also wanted to be playing Premier Division football, so I did both – and it kept my fitness at a high level.”
“I love being here though, and, playing for Neil, Matt and Ian, it’s a really good place to be, even though I actually only joined the club because of a friend who used to play for them.
“They (Neil and the coaching team at Arnold) actually rekindled the love in which I have for the game, and I’ve been captain pretty much the whole time under Neil.”
Recent years, although affected by situations elsewhere, has seen Arnold’s rise come to fruition, culminating in last seasons’ title success, and with it, promotion to the EMWRFL Premier Division.
The new season which started on Sunday, will see Matthews, Lorimer, and the Eagles, face some stern opposition, including local affairs, with the like of Mansfield Town and Notts County lining up against them, even if the last time (2022/22) was an unknown.
“Last season, there was no idea really as to how anyone was lining up (after the previous two seasons),” continued Jennifer.
“Personally, I wanted this team back in the Premier Division – the squad had that mentality, and that’s what we took into every game – although having Tasha (Leach) and Amy (Gauvrit) helped.
“We were always questioning as to whether we could, more after the loss to Grimsby, and I guess, we only had it in our heads that we could do it in the last few games – winning that title though, that was the best feeling in the world; I’d won promotions before, but never a title.”
The season ahead however, one which started with a 3-2 defeat at home to Anstey Nomads on Sunday, is seen as another step up, and in the right direction, for the Nottinghamshire club.
Jennifer however, she knows what to expect, and what she expects, for the season ahead of them, both in the league, and in the cup competitions in which they’ll compete.
“This step up, it’s going to be a big one, and we know we have to do it more than from the county leagues say, whilst also competing, but we think that we can do that,” added Jennifer.
“Every team in the Premier Division, that have fantastic squads, and players, so we’re looking forward to what’ll be an interesting season.
“The cups, we’re confident, and would love a good cup run, so we’ll just have to see what happens.
“We do thrive a little, when we oppose higher opposition, and the younger players, whether here, or elsewhere, that’s where they aspire to be.
“I am looking forward to competing in the FA Cup again though.”
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @ArnoldEaglesFC Jennifer Lorimer in action for Arnold Eagles.