Siobhan Walsh can only laugh when her recent goalscoring exploits are mentioned, almost as if they are unbelievable to even herself.
The Cardiff City centre-back and captain has netted five goals in her last three matches – more than in the entirety of the last three seasons combined.
“It’s a nice feeling, but I think you can tell from my celebrations that I probably surprise myself!” Walsh smiles. “In previous seasons I have maybe not scored as many goals as I could have.
“All of my goals have been from crosses into the box and we have got some excellent set-piece takers, so I am fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to get on the end of them.”
Usually it is twin sister Catherine Walsh scoring the goals, but an ACL injury sustained in March 2022 kept the forward out of action for 10 months before she returned as a substitute in Cardiff’s final game of phase one against The New Saints.
“Cath is such an important and influential player for us, not only to have on the pitch but being around the group too,” Siobhan says. “It is great to have her back available to play and hopefully she can help us push on for the rest of the season.”
Cardiff took 38 points from a possible 42 in phase one and currently have a seven-point lead at the top of the table, but the key message from the Bluebirds camp is that they have not won anything yet.
“We ended last season playing well so we wanted to take that into this season, which we have done so far,” Walsh says.
“We are playing with confidence, but we have stressed the importance of taking every game at a time because every team we play is going to be a different challenge for us.
“We have got a great group on and off the pitch. It is easy to enjoy your football when you are playing alongside such talented players.”
Walsh has been a mainstay in the team this season, starting all 14 league matches and helping the Bluebirds keep eight clean sheets.
“It is important to me that I can help out as much as I can,” the 28-year-old says. “I am obviously not as young as I used to be so there may be a point when I need to be protected, but at the moment I am feeling good and playing well.”
Cardiff’s attentions will turn to the Genero Adran Trophy this weekend, a competition they reached the final of last year before losing 1-0 to Cardiff Met. Remarkably, that was the last competitive defeat that the club suffered.
After progressing past tier two sides Briton Ferry Llansawel and Llandudno in this year’s competition, the Bluebirds host The New Saints in the semi-final on Sunday.
Greg Draper’s side provided a stern test when they visited the capital earlier in the season, while they secured a top half spot in the Genero Adran Premier last weekend.
“It was a hard loss to take in the final last year so we want to go one better this year,” Walsh says. “But we have got to get to the final first and it will be a tough game on Sunday.
“Both games against TNS this season have been very difficult because they have a lot of threat going forward. I am sure they will be on a high after their result last weekend, so we will be mindful of that but we need to focus on our own game and play our football.”