By Ben Gilby (13/1/22)
Above: Aleesha Collins in action during Chorley’s incredible win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. Photo: Munro Sports Photography (13/1/22).
Impetus is delighted to announce the sponsorship of Chorley’s Aleesha Collins as the latest extension of our partnership with the FA Women’s National League Division One North club.
Collins, 16, made her debut for Chorley in their FA Cup tie against higher league Middlesbrough in November, a game which saw her score four times and net the winning spot-kick in the penalty shoot out to clinch a superb win for her team.
To launch the sponsorship, we spoke exclusively to Aleesha about her footballing journey so far:
“I started playing football at under-nines for my local girls’ team Crossfields. I then moved to Preston at U11s where I had a good four years winning trophies. My favourite has to be winning the nationals in 2017 after winning every game of the season.
“Whilst at Preston, I also played for my local boys’ team. I played for them for two years (U12s to U14s). Also whilst at Preston, I represented my county from U10s right the way up to U16s. COVID then hit and I didn’t play for a season.
“Once I then became 15 and was old enough to play in an U18s team, I moved to Chorley where that team went unbeaten and won the league. This current season I have played seven games for the reserves and I have also made three appearances for the first team and hopefully, I will have many more to come.”
One of those three appearances for Chorley’s first team was in that FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough. Aleesha reflected on that incredible day.
“The coaches and players helped me a lot through the game. Beforehand I was told by the coaches that there was no pressure on me and I should just go out and enjoy it. On the pitch, my team helped me through the game. It helps a lot that we have experienced players in our team and they support me a lot. Not just in this game but in training too.
“I think it was a really good game with end-to-end football. It was a brilliant team performance to come back from 3-1 down to draw 4-4 at the end of extra time. As for the four goals I scored, I was in the right place at the right time and it was all down to the service I got from my team that day.”
It wasn’t just an incredible four goals that Aleesha scored that day. There was the small matter of the winning penalty in the shoot-out. She recalled the experience: “As I was stepping up to take the penalty I was confident as I have always taken penalties. I knew where I was going in the walk-up and didn’t change my mind.”
Aleesha is level-headed and dedicated to continual improvements to ensure that she can produce the best performances for Chorley.
“My aim for the rest of the season is to improve as a player and help the team the best I can with the help of the coaches and my team I’m sure that can happen. I just want to keep on playing football and keep on enjoying it.”
Aleesha joins Lisa Topping as a Chorley player sponsored by Impetus. The site also has a content partnership with the FA Women’s National League Division One North club.
For details of all the players that Impetus sponsor and clubs we work with, click on this link: https://impetusfootball.org/partnerships/