The Lions couldn’t be prouder to validate that their cherished #10 Ruth Matta will be leaving UK shores for football state-side this very afternoon.

Britain, and arguably Europe’s leading Running Back, will be heading to the east coast, to join none other than the WFA Division One National Champions, the Boston Renegades for their 2019 season.

“Ruth is simply a cut above anyone playing women’s football in Britain and I think Europe too at the moment” offered Lions’ GM and team-mate Jo Kilby, “…she is a class act, and has needed something to get her teeth into for some time – that she’ll be playing against some of the best practioners in the world week in, week out, means she’ll get that challenge and indeed the opportunity to take her game to not just the next level but the very highest level.” Indeed, it’s just such this challenge that’s motivating the pint-size tail-back:

“I’m always looking to push myself to my limits” offered Matta. “For me, there’s no point in playing otherwise. It’s all about testing yourself against the best and playing at the highest level possible. I suppose I’ve just come to realise that I need to take this opportunity now before it passes me by.”

At 30 years young, Matta will soon be approaching her peak form years and as an ever-present and founding member of the Lions, a 6-time British Champion, European Championship silver medallist and multiple MVP recipient, both domestically and nationally, its fair to say she’s ready to take on some of the world’s best with this moment, now, being the right moment to make that happen.

“I was originally intending to head out mid-February to give myself enough time to settle in” added Matta, “but when we realised Sapphire didn’t finish until March, I just couldn’t walk away from the Lions with a job half done. None of this would be possible without them, they’ve taught me pretty much everything I know and made me the player I am today. I’m a Lion first and foremost and I intended to leave with us still being the dominant force in British women’s football and I’m thankful we managed to achieve that on Saturday.”

With a sixth championship safely under her belt and a tempest of learning to get to grips with on ‘touchdown’ in Boston the Lions’ pocket battleship will be racing against time to impress her new patrons with the Renegades first game just a few weeks away, versus Tampa Bay Inferno on April 6th. But some folk aren’t worried about her ability to catch-up.

“There’s no one quite like Ruth” offered up Lions’ Head Coach Jamie Kilby, “you only have to take a look at her highlight reel to see what a special player and outstanding athlete she is, but she’s also diligent, prepared and won’t let luck play a part – she’ll study the Renegades playbook thoroughly and make sure she’s an asset for them from the off. I have no doubt she’ll more than impress when she gets her chance.”

With a European Championships on home-soil calling Matta back to Britain in late August, the Lions #10 has five months of genuine ‘American’ Football at her disposal – with a regular season running to mid-June and hopefully play-off football concluding with the WFA’s Division One Championship game on July 12th – and with that, there’s a lot to look forward to, but what’s the motivation behind ‘Matta mattering’ in the States?

“I always worry about becoming too comfortable and I think it’s important to challenge yourself on a regular basis in order to develop and get the most out of life. I firmly believe you only develop when you take yourself out of your comfort zone and with a challenge like this, I’ll certainly learn a lot more about myself and I’m keen to see how I’ll handle it. It’ll also be good to focus solely on football and I’ve always loved going away and playing in international tournaments because for that short period of time you’re able to lose yourself completely in the game and your performance. That’s what all players dream of right? and now I get to do that for a whole 5 months!”

With Boston equally excited about Matta’s transfer, adding the Brit’s dynamism to the Renegades proven track record, all-star roster and expert coaching acumen, could prove another memorable season for the WFA champs.

“We are eager for Ruth’s arrival and look forward to her contribution to our 2019 campaign” offered Boston GM, Ben Brown. “Statistically speaking she has been one of the best running backs in Europe for the past few years, and we sincerely appreciate Ruth’s efforts and sacrifices to make this venture possible.”

On behalf of everyone at the Lions and in wishing Ruth the very best of luck we leave you with this final thought, fitting really, when you consider that size shouldn’t matter – “…I’m not too sure if they realise quite how small I actually am?”

…the perfect sign-off. Have an unbelievable time and a great season Ruth!

For more information on the Boston Renegades visit their website for more details.

Image © Jody Davies Sports Photography.

Ruth Matta