Helen Mitchell: Sheffield FC Ladies boss hails 'unbelievable' success

By Tom GarryBBC Sport
Helen Mitchell (centre)
Helen Mitchell (centre) has been with Sheffield FC Ladies since July 2003

Sheffield FC Ladies boss Helen Mitchell says joining the Women's Super League will be "unbelievable" for her side.

Sheffield are expected to be promoted to WSL 2 next season, after beating Portsmouth 1-0 on Sunday in the Women's Premier League play-off final.

"It's massive," Mitchell told BBC Sport. "12 years ago we were just starting out as a club, training on playing fields and public parks.

"We've come from nowhere and gradually worked our way up to the top."

Sheffield, who have won six league titles in the last eight seasons, won Sunday's play-off thanks to a stoppage-time winner from the club's longest-serving player, Lisa Giampalma.

"It was a brilliant game with nothing in it," Mitchell added. "Portsmouth did themselves proud and made it a fantastic contest. We just came up with a bit of quality at the end.

Sheffield FC
Helen Mitchell (right) was given a soaking as the team celebrated being crowned champions

"It has been more than just this season for us. We've won the league for the last three years, without the chance of promotion for the last two, so we were desperate to do it this year.

"We've worked so hard behind the scenes, with very little resources. The players have superb character, desire and experience. They are not paid professionals - they do it for the love of the sport."

Sheffield now just need to meet the necessary requirements for a Super League licence in order to secure promotion.

"I think we're over the line," Mitchell continued. "The Super League committee are coming up to our ground (on 10 June) to go over the last few bits and pieces.

"They've told us they've got no real concerns about the bid, so we'll be working with them to make sure we've got everything in place."