Team of the Decade: Cheryl Rigden

Cheryl Rigden is selected to the Women’s Team of the Decade as reserve midfielder.

Cheryl “Chez” Rigden arrived at the club in 2017. After working her way up through just about every team during preseason, Cheryl ’s champion qualities became apparent a few rounds into the league, and from then on she remained a key feature of the State 1 midfield until her return to Scotland the following year.

A player of many talents, Cheryl anchored the midfield, with her gritty defensive pressure, physical presence (in spite of her height!), and hard but fair tackling contributing to dominant midfield performances in both 2017 and 2018. Clever and creative, Cheryl was able to steer the team out of tight spaces to set up genuine attacking chances. Her long-range passing ability was equally impressive, and a solid and reliable kick made her the designated free kick specialist throughout much of her time at the club.

From brilliant goals and headers to spectacular tumbles, Cheryl was never far from the action, and provided much entertainment to the squad and spectators alike.

Cheryl was always one to back her teammates, offering guidance and encouragement, and standing up for others if ever it was needed. She played with drive and determination, spurring others on when games – and seasons – hung in the balance.

Off the field, Cheryl was also an asset to the club. Always up for a social occasion, she injected energy into the squad, encouraging others to join in the fun. Any shenanigans that may have transpired during the night or days before a game were never apparent in Cheryl’s on-field performances – perhaps one of her most impressive attributes.

An irreparable Cheryl-shaped hole was left in the club when she departed in 2018. However, since then, many of us have enjoyed following her career in the Scottish Women’s Premier League from afar.

Chez, if ever you decide to return to Melbourne, there’s a club that would welcome you back with open arms!

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