Arsenal Ladies progressed to the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League on Wednesday afternoon with an impressive 6-2 aggregate victory over Rayo Vallecano.
Manager Laura Harvey spoke to Arsenal.com after the game and reflected on another fine day for her side.
Laura, could you have asked for a better end to 2011?
It's fantastic. For the year it's been we wanted to end it on a high. I think they deserve that with the trophies they've won and getting to the Quarter-Finals of another Champions League is magnificent.
The team seemed came out strongly in the second half - would you agree?
Even in the first half we created so much but the scoreline could have been a lot higher than what it was again. It was pretty much the same situation last week. Thankfully in the second half we pushed on and we could have even scored more than we actually did. In the end we got the five goals we needed.
And of course, five goals with five different scorers...
That's been a trait of ours over the whole season really, we've not had just the one person scoring 30-odd goals. We've had people chipping in all the way along at crucial times.
This is the Club's ninth consecutive year to the Quarter-Finals - what does that tell you?
It's a magnificent achievement. Men's or women's football, wherever you go, to have that as a stat is frightening. I'm not sure any of the women's teams will ever get to that and thankfully we can be a part of it. The girls who have played here all those years - the likes of Jayne Ludlow, Ciara Grant, Emma Byrne - they can be proud to stand up and say that they've been a part of these teams. I think the youngsters know how much that means to them. You look back at Arsenal Ladies over the years and it is such a phenomenal thing - to get such recognition is what they deserve.
You'll obviously be keen to go further this time around...
You always want to go further. Were we good enough to reach the Final last year? No, but I think we've improved a lot in the last 12 months and I hope we can push on now. I don't think we're far away from that.
Are there any particular opponents you're looking to avoid?
Not really. The Germans are always strong and Lyon's quality speaks for itself but if you want to win the competition you have to beat them at some point. I don't think there any weak teams in the Quarter-FInals - there never are. We've just got to make sure that whoever we get, we are as prepared as possible to beat them.
It's been a fine years for the Ladies - you must be delighted?
I'm over the moon. We've had about two months to reflect on the treble and it's an absolutely magnificent achievement. I look at some of the players in the dressing room and some of them aren't even 20 years of age yet. They've won a treble, reached two Champions League Quarter-Finals and there's so much to come from them still. Everybody writes the older heads off every year and once again they've stood up and been counted when needed. The league was tight but we managed to win it by three points. We then beat our biggest rivals 4-1 in the League Cup Final and won the FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Bristol Rovers. It's brilliant.
Did you ever imagine it would turn out like this?
No! If you'd have stood here and asked me 12 months ago if I thought we'd win the treble I'd say no. That's credit to the players. They wholeheartedly believe that they can win every single game they come into. We don't want to be arrogant or big-headed but we don't even feel as though we've played that well throughout the whole of the year. Some games we did really well, like the Continental Cup Final where I thought we were excellent. But some of the other games where we scraped through we don't even think we performed that great. You can't say that when you've won a treble because people just think you're crazy - but that's just the reality we're at.
So now you must be looking forward to a well-earned rest…
I cannot wait! Just mentally really. Physically we've had those little breaks but now we can refocus, have a bit of a breather and come Christmas time we can start looking at the next stage.
Finally, there's the tour of Japan coming up - the squad must be excited about that.
We're really looking forward to it and with today's victory it turns into a bit of a celebratory tour for the 12 months that we've had. That's what we hoped and what we wanted - thankfully that's what we've got.