Tottenham Women’s captain Schillaci retires

Karen Hills and Jenna Schillaci celebrate (pic

Karen Hills and Jenna Schillaci celebrate (pic - Credit: Archant

Tottenham Hotspur Women’s captain Jenna Schillaci has retired at the age of 36.

Tottenham Hotspur women's Jenna Schillaci in action (Pic: John Walton/PA)

Tottenham Hotspur women's Jenna Schillaci in action (Pic: John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The defender has been with the club since 2009, having spent a further year with Spurs at the start of her career before spells with Queens Park Rangers and Enfield Town.

Centre-back Schillaci captained Spurs to three promotions and has been a reliable figure at the heart of their defence.

In 2019 Schillaci was one of 11 of Spurs players to be offered a full-time professional contract to remain with the club following their promotion to the FA Women’s Super League.

The defender scored twice for the Lilywhites in their 2018-19 promotion season for the FA Women’s Championship, having earlier been part of the team that won the South East Combination League title in 2010-11 and the third-tier Premier League Southern Division in 2016-17.

Schillaci, Lloris, Dembele and Eriksen meet young patients Noah, Isobel and Jemima. Picture: Tottenh

Schillaci, Lloris, Dembele and Eriksen meet young patients Noah, Isobel and Jemima. Picture: Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images - Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I

Schillaci played three times for the club in the league during the curtailed 2019-20 WSL season accumulating 270 minutes.

“It’s been a difficult decision for me to make and it doesn’t feel real, but the time feels right for me now to hang up my boots,” she told the club website.

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“I feel unbelievably proud of what I have achieved while at Spurs and my journey has felt like a dream. Being a Spurs fan, from going to watch the team when I was a young girl and dreaming of playing at White Hart Lane, which I got to do, I am very grateful and honoured to have been given so many amazing opportunities at the club and to have captained the team for all these years.

“There’s been so many stand-out moments for me during my time here, including winning the league at The Lane, securing promotion to the WSL and leading the team out against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for our first game in the top flight.

“My family have been on this amazing journey with me and I know they are extremely proud of me too, I wouldn’t be here without their support. I feel very grateful that I got to live my dream at the club, and I hope that my journey can inspire the next generation.”

Head coach Karen Hills added: “I want to say a massive thank you to Jenna for everything she has done for the team and congratulate her on all the success she’s had in her career.

“Jenna has been a true leader for us on and off the pitch and she is an inspiration to many. We have been able to create so many truly amazing memories together that will stay with us forever. I wish her the very best in her new adventure and her retirement.”

Tottenham club chairman Daniel Levy also praised the legendary defender, adding: “Jenna has made an incredible contribution to our club as a player and captain, playing a significant role in the progress and evolution of Spurs Women to get to where we are today, competing at the top level of the women’s game.

“She has represented the club with diligence and distinction for more than a decade, not only on the field but also outside of the matchday environment, where she has frequently involved herself in the club’s work in the local community and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

“We should like to express our thanks to Jenna for her many years of loyal service and wish her the best of luck in the future. She remains a valued member of the Spurs family.”

Tottenham Hotspur finished seventh in the Women’s Super League after picking up 20 points in their debut season.