Birmingham City Ladies success 'would lift entire club'

Karen Carney
Solihull-born Karen Carney has scored 23 times in her 99 international appearances for England

Birmingham City Ladies captain Karen Carney says that a top-two finish in the Women's Super League would lift the whole club at St Andrew's.

"It would be good for the community, for everyone involved and for Birmingham City FC as a whole," 27-year-old Carney told BBC WM 95.6.

The men's team have had a hard time of it since upsetting Arsenal at Wembley to win the League Cup in 2011.

Relegation to the Championship was followed by three year of underfunding.

BBC WM's Rob Gurney on Blues Ladies
"To be going into the final round of fixtures, still with a chance of winning the title, when you'd been written off by all and sundry before the season started, represents a remarkable achievement for Birmingham City Ladies, whatever the ultimate outcome on Sunday. "I've seen at first hand what a tight-knit group of players and staff they are."Everyone has been pulling in the same direction, and for me, that's really what has got them so close to pulling it off."Other clubs may have more money, far more in some cases, but few, if any, have the team spirit that the Blues Ladies do."Never has the phrase 'all for one and one for all' been more appropriate.

Underachievement on the field has inevitably accompanied the club's uncertain off-field future, as they have remained up for sale.

But the Blues ladies have managed to put smiles on faces around the club with their successes, and having qualified for Europe this season, they are just a win away from once again booking a Champions League place.

If they beat Notts County at home on Sunday, and leaders Chelsea lose at Manchester City, they would lift their first WSL crown.

A Chelsea draw could also bring Blues the title, providing Dave Parker's team were to win by a margin of three goals or more.

However, if they lose, it could let third-placed Liverpool Ladies to sneak above them with a home victory against Bristol Academy.

But Blues skipper Carney is concentrating only on winning.

Birmingham Ladies roll of honour
FA Women's Super League runners-up: 2011, 2012FA Women's Cup winners: 2012
Continental Cup runners-up: 2011, 2012Qualified for Champions League 2013-14

"There's been a lot of negativity," added the 99-times capped England international. "A lot of people have lost heart with certain things.

"And I know it would have been the ladies that did it, but it would be awesome to bring the trophy home."

Coach Parker agrees that while they have had a great season regardless of what happens this Sunday, they still want a tangible reward.

"Other people might look at us and say third and a Champions League semi-final, that's a good season," he said. "But we want something to show for it, whether it's the trophy or a Champions League spot. That would be huge for the club."

"The achievement for ourselves as a group will be judged by Champions League football."

Liverpool's Louise Fors celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the game against Bristol Academy in the 2013 WSL end-of-season decider

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