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Bristol Rovers defender Louise Hutton feels that her team will be able to put last season's experiences behind them and aim for a mid-table position in the National Division this time around. The England under-19 international told Women's Soccer Scene that things are going well under new manager Gary Green. "It's going okay, we've got some new players in and a new manager, everything's changed," says Louise.
Rovers found life difficult after promotion last season but can they build on this? "I'd like to think so," she adds. "Last year was a struggle and we only just stayed up, so this year we've had the experience and know the tempo and with the players we've got we can try and aim a bit higher.
"Obviously, there's a lot of lessons to be learned from last season. The tempo and quality of players was a lot different, but I think as a team we adapted quite well after Christmas and hopefully we'll take that into this year."
Compared to many of their rivals in the National Division, Rovers have been reasonably quiet during the summer with a small number of additions to their squad. Could a settled squad be helpful to them? "Yes, possibly," says Louise, "but then again the teams that have been swapping have got good players. Hopefully we'll be alright."
Rovers' opening match of the season sees them make the trip to Fulham and Louise admits that, with a number of departures from the Cottagers during the summer, she is not yet sure what they'll be facing. "They've lost a few players and you don't really know what to expect but you go into every game the same and prepare for it, and hopefully we'll get a good result."
This season will also see the two Bristol clubs meet in the top flight for the first time ever, a fixture which means a lot to Louise as Bristol City are her former club. "Derby games are always good games to play in," she smiles. "(There's) more at stake, a lot of pride! It's obviously good for Bristol to have two clubs in the top flight."
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