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Arsenal manager Vic Akers admitted that he was pleased to get the Premier League Cup back in their trophy cabinet following their 5-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles in the Final at Scunthorpe.
"We were disappointed last year in losing and it was one we were hoping we'd regain this year," he said. "Now we know it will be really tough because we've lost players and people have avoided playing us until this time, and now they think they have a better chance of beating us now. We'll have to wait and see.
"We know it's a final and we had to apply ourselves in the right way. I think everyone did that. We knew what to expect from Doncaster and we got what we expected with respect. They tried ever so hard but I thought we had that little bit extra.
"They (Doncaster) had two really good chances that come to mind just before half time and they could have got something there. When they didn't get something at that time we came in comfortably with a two-goal lead. I felt once we settled down I was comfortable we'd go on and win the game."
Vic reserved special praise for midfielder Kim Little: "Kim is going to be the next big, big player. She's a Scottish international and we've got her tied down here now. Hopefully she can step into Kelly's shoes, do the business for us and keep it going. Obviously you don't replace Kelly Smith who for me is iconic. Everyone will miss her, as a club and as a country.
"We say Kelly is ending her career here but we don't know. We never know with this American League - it has fallen by the wayside before. Obviously if it happens again those girls will be back here at Arsenal. When Thierry Henry was here and saw Kelly play he said he's the nearest thing to a male player that he's seen. I echo those thoughts.
"It was lovely for Suzanne Grant to score, so great for her. You write those little stories don't you? It's lovely for her and I'm delighted that she's got her career here up and running and hopefully she'll get many more."
"It's a sad day really," said Kelly Smith. "Happy but emotional and sad at the same time. It was important that we picked up our first trophy available but I'm delighted to get on the scoresheet and finish on a high.
"It's great for Alex to score as well because she hasn't got on the scoresheet much this season. I'm really happy for her and you can tell that the Club means a lot to her. She's grown up here and I know it's been a wrench for her to go abroad because the Club is in her blood as well."
Alex Scott added: "It's a great way to sign off with a goal and a win in the League Cup Final. I'm leaving a great bunch of girls and I'll miss them dearly. I haven't had a good scoring record this season. I don't know what was going through my brain I just made sure I kept it on target. When it went in I got really emotional."
It was a memorable day for Suzanne Grant as she marked her Arsenal debut by scoring the fifth goal. "Kelly's are big shoes to fill but I'm going to give it my best and hopefully there will be more goals to come," she smiled. "I'm very happy to be a part of it and it has been one of my ambitions to come down here. It's a loss with people moving upstairs because obviously Vic has done brilliantly here. That said, it's a new door opening and hopefully the girls will do the same.
"I thought it was just a privilege to be involved in the game, I didn't expect to come on and get that bonus of scoring so first trophy, first game, first goal so I'm delighted."
Doncaster Rovers Belles manager John Buckley took a positive view despite the final scoreline. "We created chances but that's a lesson in life - if you don't take your chances against teams like these, then you die," he reflected. "I came in at half time massively proud of them because I honestly thought we had matched them.
"In the second half we ran out of legs - I'm not saying we should have won the game but if we had gone in level at half time it would have picked the girls up enormously. It's ironic that the chances fell to Emily (Heckler) but I won't be caning her because she played really well."
Emily Heckler revealed that she and her team mates thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. "I absolutely loved the day," she said. "Obviously I was gutted that the fireworks after the game went off for somebody else and not us but we have done really well to get here.
"I had quite a few chances, three I think, but sometimes it goes like that and that's the way it did. We did have a few individuals missing but we all bonded together well - we've got quite a young team but the younger players did really well and hopefully next season we'll be flying."
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