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Womens Premiership

CHAMBERS REVELS IN HERO STATUS FOR 'SECOND FAMILY'

21 Jul 2022
football

Sion Swifts Ladies striker Cora Chambers was the hero as her team clinched the Jordan’s Gift Women’s Premiership League Cup last month.

Teenage striker Chambers came off the bench to net both her side’s goals in the win over Cliftonville Ladies and help the club overcome the heartbreak of losing the 2019 showpiece against Glentoran Women.

The striker is still reveling in the success, describing the goals as “moments I will never forget” in the start of a hugely exciting career.

The scenes of celebration on the pitch among Sion’s players was notable, with Chambers explaining: “We are like a second family to each other. Seriously, the girls are all so close and I think you could see in that in the celebrations after the match of how much it meant to us.”

An ice-cold finisher, Chambers had not been involved in her side’s run to the final – wins over Derry City Women and Linfield Ladies – due to her participation in the Northern Ireland women’s training ahead of the European Championships.

She admitted that there were some rare nerves as she watched on from the bench. “I was busting to get on and to make an impact,” she explained. “It was right that I didn’t start the game and the players that got us to the final where given that opportunity, but I couldn’t wait to play.

“There were some nerves when I came on because of the nature of the game and it being on TV, but you know that you are there to do a job for the team and let things take care of themselves.

“As soon as I got onto the pitch all those nerves disappeared, I knew we were the stronger team in the game and were creating so many chances – we felt it was a matter of time.”

Yet Sion’s big moment came in the second half when they were awarded a penalty but Chambers saw her effort rebound off the post and bounce away to safety. “It was one of those feelings,” she reflects.

“To see it coming off the post and then it move across the goal was tough but at the time your instinct kicks in and you chase after the ball.

“Whenever the first goal went in, it is hard to describe the feeling but it was just one of those moments you will never forget. For my second, it was more a case of relief and knowing that we had won the cup.”

Chambers believes that she is now a better player and a better athlete since being involved in the international training squad, which lasted for several months.

The striker continued: “It was so demanding that at the start I was so tired after training but when you get used to it, you notice your fitness levels and physique have gone way up.

“I lost bodyfat during those training sessions but you feel your energy levels go way up in the long run. That was a really important experience for me to be involved in that group to be learning off those girls and seeing how they conduct themselves on and off the pitch.

“The Euros came a bit too early for me to be part of the team but I know this is the start of my journey and I want to make my mark.”

Chambers finished her A-levels earlier this summer and is now hopeful of kicking on with her football career whilst combining it with work off the pitch, after opening up on the difficulties of balancing the intense training sessions with school.

“In February I had to drop one of my subjects because it was so stressful having to balance everything – it definitely isn’t easy,” she added.

“The training with Northern Ireland training was five days a week, so you have that on top of all your school work – and then when the league started up, you had those training sessions and games. It was non-stop!”

“My plan provisionally is not to go uni straightaway but to apply for work, because that would be more compatible with my football career – which I am serious about.”

There is so much more to come from this hugely talented teenage striker but nobody will ever be able to take away her brace to secure the first trophy of an exciting career.