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Aaliyah Nolan thriving as she completes season at Bradford City

Aaliyah Nolan has netted 12 goals in her debut season with Bradford City (Photograph courtesy of Telegraph & Argus)

Aaliyah Nolan has made a name for herself in her debut season with Bradford City.

The Bermuda forward has been a regular starter for the North East Regional Women’s Football League Premier Division side throughout the 2023-24 campaign since joining from West Yorkshire rivals Leeds United last summer.

Not only has Nolan managed to get considerable playing time on the pitch but she has also netted 12 goals, which has thrust her in contention for the club’s golden boot award as she trails leading scorer Kanisha Underdown with two games let to play.

“It has been a very smooth transition going over to Bradford,“ Nolan told The Royal Gazette. ”The staff and everyone at the club have been very welcoming.“

While inspired by her success at her new club so far this term, the 26-year-old reckons her best is yet to come.

“I still have more to offer as I am in the right atmosphere,” she added.

Nolan was back in the spotlight after netting a brace either side of the interval and providing an assist in Bradford’s 5-1 win in their previous outing away to league rivals Wakefiel.

“Overall I had a good game, scoring two goals and getting an assist after being off for a while,” she said.

“The team did excellent but we were unlucky not to get the clean sheet. Everyone played their part, including the substitutes.”

Bradford seized early control with forward Hannah Markey breaking the deadlock in the fourth minute.

Markey then went from scorer to provider as she flicked on midfielder Underdown’s cross for Nolan to tap into an empty net and double Bradford’s advantage.

Forward Mia Jacobs went close to grabbing a third for Bradford, who then had a goal disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper before Rachael White pulled one back for the home side in the 40th minute to signal game on.

However, Wakefield’s revival was stopped dead in its tracks when Underdown buried Jacob’s cross to restore Bradford’s two-goal advantage shortly after.

Bradford kept their foot on the throttle and were rewarded again when substitute Maria McKenna ran on to Nolan’s through pass from the edge of the area and chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper in the 75th minute to make it 4-1.

Nolan then rounded off her team’s emphatic victory a few moments later with midfielder Monika Stube, the Bradford captain, providing the assist.

“It wasn’t one of our best games,” Nolan added.

“But we still haven’t lost a league game in 2024 and hope to keep it that way until the season ends.

“With two games left in the season we expect to finish on a high note and, going into next season, build on how we leave off.”

Bradford, who are fifth in the North East Regional Womens Football League standings, only loss of the year so far came in a 1-0 defeat away to league leaders Barnsley in a League Cup quarter-final clash last month.

• Chicago Red Stars midfielder LeiLanni Nesbeth put in another good shift in her team’s 3-1 home win against National Women’s Soccer League rivals Utah Royals at SeatGeek Stadium on Sunday.

The 22-year-old was included in head coach Lorne Donaldson’s starting XI for the second straight match and held her own on the pitch until being replaced by Brazilian team-mate Julia Bianchi in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.

The Red Stars prevailed on goals from forwards Jenna Bike, Mallory Swanson and Penelope Hocking, while fellow forward Cameron Tucker replied for the visitors.

Chicago are fifth in the NWSL standings with five wins, a draw and three losses.

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Published May 15, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated May 15, 2024 at 7:42 am)

Aaliyah Nolan thriving as she completes season at Bradford City

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