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‘Consistency’ (noun): the quality of achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time.

In football, consistency key – on an individual basis as well as a collective one. With a challenging start to City’s 2021/22 FA Women’s Super League campaign, it was a concept that was proving elusive for Gareth Taylor’s side, who suffered the effects of a minimal pre-season and the aftermath of the Olympic Games with an astonishing number of injuries.

As a result, the squad battled through but struggled to build rhythm until December, when the fort fortunes brightened, kicking off a sensational run of form which saw the second half of the season yield 21 wins in 24 games and a fourth Continental Cup trophy.

It was a true ‘season of two halves’ but throughout the topsy-turvy campaign, there was one dependable: Alex Greenwood.

The Champions League winner, who joined the Club in the summer of 2020 from Olympique Lyonnais, completed her second season in sky blue as our highest appearance maker, featuring in all 38 of our games and starting all bar one.

Captaining the side in Steph Houghton’s absence, she truly led by example under difficult circumstances, lining up alongside a variety of defensive partners – some of whom were not natural defenders, as goalkeeper and best pal Ellie Roebuck explains.

I was a proper street kid in Liverpool, I played football all the time with the boys in the streets. Any chance we could get, we put two jumpers down for goalposts and played knock-outs!

“Alex has really held up the back, especially with a lot of absentees,” said the shot-stopper.

“She’s had a lot of different partnerships: a lot of people playing on her left and right, behind her and in front of her, and she’s maintained that consistency with the solid performances we’ve needed.

“She’s really given us that security at the back and I think her distribution has really blossomed this year.”

Driven, focused and dedicated, Greenwood coped admirably with the challenge and even managed to contribute at the sharp end of the pitch with 10 goal involvements: five goals and five assists for our number five.

Her efforts received deserved acclaim from her teammates and manager, as well as fans and media outside the Club. In addition to making the shortlist for City’s Player of the Season, she was also nominated for the FA WSL’s prize and clinched February’s PFA Vertu Motors Fans’ Player of the Month.

Though regarded as a big personality in the dressing room and a key influence on the pitch, Greenwood is remarkably humble. A former Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United star, she is often the subject of comments from opposition fans but prefers to let her football do the talking.

Regardless of the color of her shirt, she has always given everything for the badge, which quickly enamored her to the City faithful, and says she is very much enjoying her football at the Academy Stadium – in particular, our attack-minded, possession- based playing style.

That isn’t to say she doesn’t like to get stuck in – her bravery and dedication are some of her best qualities; traits she had to pick up quickly in her youth.

“I was a proper street kid in Liverpool,” Greenwood laughs. “I played football all the time with the boys in the streets. Any chance we could get, we put two jumpers down for goalposts and played knock-outs!

“You do not get away with shying out of a tackle in Liverpool – if you do not put a tackle in, you’re not getting in the team!

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“I think very much the way I grew up is similar to the way I play. Of course, the games are a bit different – better… and the pitches are better too!

“It’s definitely a result of where I’ve been brought up – how I’ve been told to act and play: tough, putting your head in where it hurts, putting in a tackle and playing street football really.”

While manager Gareth Taylor told press this season he ‘could not speak highly enough’ of Greenwood, she has also earned plenty more praise from her peers. The dressing room DJ always carries herself with the utmost professionalism – her love of the beautiful game shining through for all to see.

“It’s definitely a result of where I’ve been brought up – how I’ve been told to act and play: tough, putting your head in where it hurts, putting in a tackle and playing street football really.”

In her spare time, she watches football analysis, ever eager to grow her knowledge and understanding, and better herself – and her conduct has positively rubbed off on the younger players.

Chloe Kelly believes the defender’s influence has been pivotal for Ruby Mace’s development, in particular.

“Ruby is learning from the best in Alex Greenwood,” she declared. “She’s been brilliant for us this season and I think she’s been the Player of the Season for her consistency.

“She kept the team together during difficult moments and her performances have been brilliant.”

Jess Park, who says Greenwood is her best friend in the squad with the England star having taken the youngster under her wing, agreed: “She’s had a fantastic season.

When you get a bit older and you are in a successful team or a few different teams, you realize they do not come around often.

“She’s always got my back and she’s always there for me, and she’s definitely someone to look up to in terms of her defensive positioning – she’s so aggressive to win the ball and sometimes I can take that into the pressing.”

So, what is the best piece of advice Greenwood could give to a budding footballer…?

“Good question she” she ponders. “I think for me, it would be: ‘Enjoy the big moments.’

“When you get a bit older and you are in a successful team or a few different teams, you realize they do not come around often.

“It’s something you should be really proud of and a moment you should remember. Also: ‘have no regrets.’

“I’ve always made decisions based on being successful and what I thought was right at the moment, and I have no regrets about any decisions I’ve made. So far, so good! ”

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