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Women's Football News
Burnley FC Women are having a fantastic season in FAWNL Division One North, recording their eleventh successive league win when beating Liverpool Feds 2-0 on Sunday to go ten points clear at the top of the table.
We talked to Burnley defender Sammy Fleck, who described the win over Liverpool Feds as a ‘very important' one but is taking nothing for granted as they continue to impress in their first season following promotion after winning the North West Women's League title last season:
WSS: Well done on an excellent result on Sunday against a team which has been in good form recently, how important a result could this one turn out to be for you?
SF: Very important. We knew Feds were going to be a massive test for us last Sunday. They have been in great form the last few months so going into the game, we knew we had to put in a performance to get the result we wanted. Liverpool Feds are an established team in this league and I'm sure they are going to take points off a lot of teams over the course of the season.
WSS: How big a relief was Danielle Cooper's match clinching goal in injury time, were you coming under much pressure before the second goal?
SF: I remember looking over at our captain Jo Holt when Dani scored and we both had a look of relief before we celebrated. We knew we weren't playing at our best, and there were a few moments in the game where we put ourselves under pressure from our own errors. So, the second goal was always nice to increase the lead and give us a bit of a cushion. However, our aim is always to keep a clean sheet and we did that again on Sunday which is something, as a team, we take pride from.
WSS: Sunday made it eleven wins in a row in the league, as well as seven straight clean sheets, has the defence and goalkeeper been the rock on which the team has been built this season?
SF: Although being in the back four, I'd love to take some credit - and yes, I guess sometimes it does come down to individual defensive one on ones and our keeper, Lauren, has pulled off some quality saves. But the defensive structure that we have, and the work rate from every player is something that is instilled into us week after week by our manager and coaches. It is something that every player believes in and as a team we pride ourselves on, and from the striker through to the goalkeeper we know our defensive roles and that we have to be effective in all areas of the pitch to get a result and clean sheet in each game.
WSS: This, of course, is your first season in the National League. What were your aims at the start of the season, could you ever have envisaged how well you have done?
SF: Definitely not, we knew coming up to the National League was going to be a massive test for us as a team - and others in the league probably thought we were favourites for relegation. We have always had a sense of self belief within the team and we always go into every game believing in ourselves and believing that we can get a good result. But if you asked any of us at the start of the season where we thought we would be at this stage - I don't think anyone would have said top of the league!
WSS: This Sunday, you make the trip to Leeds United who have won all of their home games so far and held you to a draw early in the season, what kind of game are you expecting there?
SF: Yes, we played Leeds in our second game of the season - after a 3-0 defeat in the first game to Chester-le-Street. We know they are a very good side, and we are under no illusions that Sunday's game is probably going to be our toughest test so far this season. However, we have come a long way as a team since the beginning of the season, and we have a pretty solid away record too. We take each game week by week and will treat how we go into this one no differently to the others. We continue to work hard this week in training, and if we put in the right performance across all areas of the pitch, I'm sure we can get the result we are going there for.
WSS: Out of all the teams below you in the table, which you do feel are the most likely to chase you hardest until the end of the season?
SF: The table isn't really reflective with games in hand, of the positions everyone is in. Therefore it's hard to say. There are a lot of teams grouped together, and this is a tough league where the scores can go either way in any game as we have seen in recent weeks. This weekend is our main focus now and we are concentrating on getting a result there.
WSS: If you can keep going all the way and win the title, how big an achievement do you think it would be at the first attempt? And how far do you think the club can potentially go in the future?
SF: It would be amazing if we could do that! And also very unexpected. We aren't getting ahead of ourselves though and we are trying to take each week one game at a time. We know every team that we play in this league is a tough test and we need to perform and keep on the right side of the results in every game from now until the end of the season to achieve anything. The club has come so far over the last couple of years, and you can see the work that our manager and the rest of the backroom staff are putting in behind the scenes to further develop the club and make the women's section grow. The better we do as a team on the pitch, hopefully the more interest we will get and it can only be positive and push the club further in the right direction. It's exciting to think where Burnley FC Women can get to in the future, but there is a long way to go yet!
Our thanks to Sammy!
(Photo - Burnley FC)
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