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Women's Team captain Kirsty Chambers believes plans were executed perfectly in FA Cup win

To say the showing from our skipper last Sunday would be something of an understatement! Kirsty Chambers netted four times in probably one of her most influential performances ever in the Red shirt. Playing in the front-two alongside team mate Jess Battle, Chambers was ever-present in United’s stunning 13-1 season opening win over Altrincham FC Ladies in the 1st Qualifying Round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup.

After a stunning pre-season record of nine wins from nine games over the course of the summer months, Chambers believed that the whole team stepped up when it really mattered in a very important game on Sunday "We delivered exactly what we wanted to put into the game. Everything we’ve learnt over pre-season, throughout the nine games was put into practice today. We showed everything we’re capable of today coming into the season, we were fully ready for today and the result proved that".

Following such a good result to start the season, the skipper was very praiseworthy of the quality pre-season preparations heading into the season and believes that manager Luke Podmore was more than key to that. "From Luke being on board, the plans that he has had in place have been immense. He has wanted to be on the ball from the moment that he took over. Pre-season has been unreal, obviously some of the girls have been on holiday but when they can get there, they have all put in 110% week in week out and therefore I can’t fault any of the girls".

Despite naturally being a wide left player, Chambers has played in a range of attacking positions over the years in FC’s forward line and having added another four to her FC tally on Sunday, she says that she is enjoying her time up there when that role is asked of her. "I do enjoy playing up-front! Obviously playing wing-back on the left can be a difficult position at times, so when I do play up-top I have more energy to keep hold of the ball, play the ball and obviously the position allows me the chance to score more too! So yeah, I enjoy playing up there".

Of course playing up-front on Sunday gave Chambers the chance to partner the free-scoring Jess Battle, who also got off to a bang this season just like Chambers with four goals. The captain believes that she is a top addition to the team. "I’ve known Jess since I was 14. I used to play against her and its fair to say that she has always been a great player. Obviously last season, she came half way through the campaign and was still finding her feet here but starting fresh this season she’s already on the ball every single game".

"I don’t think that there has been a game [in pre-season] where she’s made a mistake. She’s looking really strong this season and a top addition for us as a team to have her in the side", she added.

Being here from day one of the Women’s team at FC, Chambers has seen it all but is more optimistic heading into a season than ever before. "I think I said it this morning to some of the fans, the feel of this season is the best one yet. The signings we’ve brought in are just next level, obviously Luke’s looked to strengthen us and that’s exactly what he has done. Luke has ambitions to take us places and with this team I have no doubt that we will get to that level that he wants us to be at".

Despite the big win, Sunday’s game was no ordinary game. It’s not every week that you get the chance to play in the FA Cup and FC’s all-time record goal-scorer sees it as a dream come true for herself personally. "Everyone dreams of playing in the FA Cup. As a team, we were disappointed that we didn’t get very far in last year’s competition but with Luke here this year he’s made us believe that we can go somewhere in this competition over the next few months and I’m sure we will. Obviously, we’re looking to get far enough to get a game in the ground and after today, I think that’s proved that we are more than capable of getting up to that level in order to get that opportunity".

As captain of the side, Chambers has been key to integrating new signings into the team this summer with the new faces continuing to impress in the Red (or green!) shirt when given the opportunity. Gemma Jackson, Fliss Winters, Anya Donelan, Rebecca Foster, Fran Sullivan and Nic Forster all made their competitive FC debuts in Sunday’s win with Winters (x2), Sullivan and Forster all getting on the score sheet. Chambers was quick to pick out the positive impacts they have had since coming to Broadhurst Park. "Their commitment and their attitudes are superb. Obviously some of them have played in the Women’s Premier League and playing alongside them you can certainly feel the strength in the squad. They have been welcomed into the team and despite them perhaps dropping down a level of football, they are actually not because the team itself is capable now of playing at a higher level. We have a family-feel here at FC and I believe that they have all fitted in perfectly. It’s great to have them on board!"

So the win opened up the competitive season on Sunday but it’s the league business that is back this weekend with City of Liverpool the visitors to Broadhurst Park and Chambers is ready to tackle this season head on. "Without a shadow of a doubt if we continue to put the hard work and effort in that we are already displaying, we’ll be in a very strong position to win the league this season. It’s been a large focus of ours over the summer in terms of game plan and style of football. We’ve done a lot of work on keeping possession, moving the ball quickly and if we put these things into practice I think that the other teams around us will struggle to keep up with us this year".

"We’ve strengthened this year in terms of the squad and despite being a few points off [the top] last year, I believe that we can make up that gap over the coming months and hopefully push on for that league title!"

And you can see Kirsty Chambers and the Reds begin their quest for the league title this season on Sunday as we host City of Liverpool Ladies FC at Broadhurst Park (3G) - We hope to see you there!

By Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 14:53 Sat 9 Sep 2017
News ID ~ 7583
Last Updated ~ 14:53 Sat 9 Sep 2017