FEATURE: Ellie Christon on her Durham Landmark, 150 Games & The Future

Durham Women’s recent win at Sunderland was a milestone one for many reasons.

For the team as a collective, it signalled the first time that the Wildcats had triumphed over their North East rivals in their history.

And on a personal level for Ellie Christon, it marked her 150th appearance for the club.

Having joined Durham in 2014 prior to the start of the new second tier – the FA Women’s Super League 2, as it was then – Christon has since become part of the fabric at the club.

And as the team has grown, so too has the flying full-back.

Indeed, her 149th appearance brought a well-taken goal in the win over Lewes – which meant the milestone game itself had a lot to live up to.

But it didn’t disappoint.

“It was an unbeliveable day for it,” said Christon of the landmark moment.

“A great crowd, a good performance from the girls again and a solid 2-0 win.

“I think we love a 2-0 at the minute!

“It’s another clean sheet and it’s really nice to hit the 150 mark.”

The road to hitting that mark has been a long one for Christon and the team – but above all, it has been one of steady progression.

“It’s been a journey and we’ve just grown and built every year,” explains the defender.

“There is a family feel and an emotional element to it, which is why we’re all so pleased to be at the top of the league.”

And perhaps no result better underlined that progression than the one Durham picked-up at The Hetton Centre last weekend.

Sunderland had previously dominated the fixtures – although the last meeting between the two ended as a draw in 2017 – and so a Durham win was something of a statement of intent.

“We did say that pre-game – we want to prove that we’re the best team in the North East,” revealed Christon.

“To get that win is class and it’s another good three points on the board for us.

“Now we need to just keep pushing on.”

Christon is the third player to hit the major landmark at Durham – following in the footsteps of fellow long-serving players Sarah Wilson and Beth Hepple.

There are serval players who have now made 100 appearances for the club and many more approaching that mark too, as the club’s experienced core continue to play their part.

And the defender believes that the fact so many players are now racking-up major appearance milestones is testament to a club where players want to remain.

“It’s really hard to want to leave because you fight for each other every week and you have each other’s backs,” she said.

“There’s always a good feeling and spirit to how we play – and off the pitch as well.

“We’re all friends and there’s no cliques whatsoever.

“I love playing with this team.”

So from the 150 games played so far, which memories stand out for Christon?

“I think beating Manchester United at home and playing Chelsea at home in front of that good crowd.

“But I think I just love every week. I love the team, I love the staff and I love training. 

“It’s such a good environment and I always develop and push on because of the girls and the way everything is ran.

“It’s class to see the growth of everything.”

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