ANITA ASANTE paid a touching tribute to injured teammate Remi Allen ahead of their last two games before hanging up their boots.
The veteran centre-back will captain Aston Villa against Arsenal and Birmingham before heralding a career spanning nearly two decades.
Carla Ward’s side will be without Allen (31) as the midfield ace has sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
And the Villa player, who has scored five goals in 22 games this season, will miss her side’s last two games of the season.
In a post Asante shared via her Twitter account called It was “an honor” to lead her teammates in the last two games of the season.
And she dedicated her captaincy to Allen, who responded by calling the tribute a “class act.”
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Asante, 44 appearances in all competitions for Villa netting, twice after joining in summer 2020.
And club boss Carla Ward revealed she had been trying to persuade the defender to stay on for another term when she learned of her plans to retire.
Ward is also hoping to keep the former Lionesses centre-back at the club in some way.
Ward said, “A couple of weeks ago I said, ‘Look, have you made up your mind about what you’re doing?’ She said, “Yeah, I can finish with a climax that way.”
“She is an outstanding person and I want to keep her here next season.
“In what capacity I don’t know, but I would like to keep her here because she is an absolute joy to be with.”
Earlier this week, Asante spoke to BBC Sport about her hopes of becoming a coach.
And she dreams of one day managing her former club Arsenal, with whom she won the Champions League 15 years ago this month.
Commenting on Asante’s coaching ambitions, Ward added: “She’s incredibly knowledgeable.
“She also has an incredible sense of humility and a way that attracts people of her own kind as a person.
“That’s really valuable as a coach because she could walk into a room and everyone would stop and listen.
“Then how she translates that as a coach is that of course it’s a lot easier to coach people who initially respect you.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5235384/anita-asante-remi-allen-villa/ WSL ace Asante pays tribute to injured Villa captain Allen and prepares for the skippered side in the final games before retirement