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Rachel Williams has made a huge impact in her first season in the Premier League and this was acknowledged this week as she won the Player of the Month award for the second time.
The England under-19 midfielder joined Doncaster Rovers Belles from Leicester City during the summer and she recently told Women's Soccer Scene that things could not have gone better since. "With it being my first season here, I think it's brilliant," she said. "John (Buckley) was saying that we have now beaten our points tally from last year.
"I've enjoyed every minute and, for me, sitting in fourth place in the Premiership is really good."
Rachel's form has now put her amongst the hottest properties in the country and she has also been called up for training camps with the senior England squad. "John told me that within six or seven months of being here, I've improved so much since he saw me play at my former club," she revealed, "but it's a lot harder when you step up, so you have to work harder in training as well.
"I couldn't have asked for any more this season. I thought I would just get my head down and play my football and I never thought I would be called up for England."
Although the Belles were beaten 5-0 by Arsenal in the League Cup Final, Rachel's performance as an emergency striker on the day earned rave reviews. However, she takes a very modest view on her display and the comments she has received since then. "Everyone told me that I had a good Final but I wasn't too sure," she replies. "I was playing out of position, with players having to fill in for those missing - but everyone has told me I played well and that other clubs would be knocking on my door, but my heart is with Donny at the minute."
When she reverts to her normal midfield position, Rachel is delighted to be playing alongside the likes of former England international Vicky Exley and underrated youngster Precious Hamilton. "It's really good to learn off of Vicky and Precious should be getting in the England squads as well," she says. "We just help each other out and learn as much as we can off John and Paul (Green)."
To round off a memorable season, Rachel was a part of the England under-20 squad which reached the quarter finals of the FIFA World Under-20 Cup in Chile at the end of last year. Although she was used as a substitute in each match, she still impressed with each display. "When i got back, everyone said I had a good tournament and that I should have been starting (in the team)," she smiles, "but you go with the team and what the manager puts out.
"I am a squad player, so I just go with what the manager says. But it was really good fun and I enjoyed it loads."
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