Aja Aguirre proved Nottingham Forest were in safe hands this season as she recorded the most clean sheets in the league before the 2019-20 FA Women’s National League season was expunged at the end of March.
Aguirre and the rest of the The Reds kept an impressive six clean sheets in 13 league games and she was ecstatic to reach this feat.
She said: “It had been a whirlwind of games for us this season. We had lots of goals we set as a team and as players, and keeping clean sheets had always been the priority for me in terms of personal goals this season.
“It’s a testament to how we managed a game as a team and how we worked together to play smart and grind out a result so I’m delighted to be a part of that and to be able to record such a good statistic.”
Aguirre kept memorable clean sheets against Derby County in a 1-0 victory back in September at Pride Park and away to Burnley last November which saw The Reds condemn The Clarets to their first league loss of the season.
Reflecting on her favourite clean sheet of the expunged season, Aguirre said: “Every game we can hold a clean sheet in is important, and they’re all memorable for their own reasons.
“The win against Sheffield FC marked our first clean sheet and also our first win after a rough start to the season, so that one definitely stands out.
“And the clean sheet against Derby at Pride Park shortly after was also huge of course because of the big stage and the massive rivalry.
“But I would say two of them stand out to me more than the others; the Burnley match away, and the Middlesbrough match at home.
“Burnley because at the time we knew nothing about them really, except that they were undefeated at that point in the season. So that was pretty great, especially with it being an away game.
“But beating Middlesbrough with a clean sheet after losing to them on the road in the first game of the season felt like such a huge victory because it shows how far we’ve come since then. Everyone just put in such a graft and worked together to get that win and the crucial three points.”
Aguirre also gave massive praise to her solid back-line that played in front of her over the course of the last eight months as she couldn’t take all the credit for the clean sheets.
“I think the back line had been absolutely excellent throughout the season,” Aguirre said.
“They definitely made my job a lot easier.
“Not only do they work so hard as individuals but they also work so well together, which is even more impressive considering how many times we’ve changed up both personnel and formation this season.
“Every one of them knows their role coming in and makes an immediate impact when we have to change things up, which is all I can ask from them.
“Lyndsey Harkin and Liv Cook were anchors in the middle as well, and scored a couple worldy goals on top of that.”
March also marked a year since Aguirre made her return to the club after she arrived back on loan from Aston Villa for her second spell at Forest. Aguirre then made the move permanent in the summer and she says it’s been a privilege playing for the club.
She said: “Honestly I can’t believe it’s already been a year, it’s really just flown by.
“This is such a special group as we’ve said time and time again and it’s been such a privilege playing with them this season.
“The club has been really supportive to everyone during this pandemic, making sure we’re all getting on alright.
“But I think I speak for everyone when I say I cannot wait to be back on the pitch and get back to business.”