Women's Football News Archive - We were always confident - Gayle - 1 Jun 2007
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Women's Football News
Liverpool captain Gayle Formston is confident that her team have learned the lessons from their last season in the National Division.
The Reds are back in the top flight of women's football after having been relegated at the first attempt two seasons ago and Gayle told Women's Soccer Scene that they are ready for the challenge. "We're far better prepared," she said. "I'm pleased to say that the majority of the squad stayed together after relegation and have experienced the top league."
Liverpool carried off the Northern Division title for the second time in four years, but had to do it the hard way. "It was fantastic, especially on top of last season's disappointment in the play-offs against Chelsea," says Gayle. "We started a bit later because of internationals and always seemed to be points behind with games in hand. We didn't have the best of starts, losing 4-2 to Aston Villa, and the first month was a bit up and down.
"We were confident all season as it was such an open league with everyone taking points off each other, but we were always confident that we had the ability to do it."
Now Liverpool can turn their attention towards taking on the best teams in the country and Gayle feels that they can draw on the experiences from some good Cup runs in recent seasons, which have seen them reach two semi finals and a quarter final. "During our Cup runs, we have had some tremendous wins where we showed togetherness and the team spirit that you need, and we can build on that," she says. "We played Bristol Academy in the F.A.Cup this year and gave them a good game and we know we can pit our wits against the likes of them."
Last season, Liverpool finished runners-up in the league to Blackburn Rovers who have progressed to the top half of the National Division. "It's not very often that teams which go up have such a good season," says Gayle. "Blackburn will be an inspiration for us. I was at Leeds when they finished fourth after going up, so that gives me a good idea of what we will need to do next season."
It has been a very successful season for Liverpool, but this has not been restricted to the first team. "We have won three trophies this year," Gayle reveals. "The first team, reserves and under-16s have all won their respective leagues. There are one or two youngsters who are knocking on the door of the first team and the future is looking very good."
As for next season, Gayle insists that Liverpool are setting their sights as high as possible. "We're not going up just to look for survival because we're better than that," she says. "We are looking to strengthen the squad and if we do, we are looking at mid-table."
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