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Leek Town are adjusting to life in the FA Women's National League Division One Midlands after promotion at the end of last season and things appear to be going well, their 4-1 win against Peterborough Utd on Sunday taking them to fifth place in the table.
Leek defender and assistant manager Cassie Hyde told us that she feels that the team have given a good account of themselves so far and are also enjoying life playing at a higher level:
WSS: That was a really good win for you on Sunday, was that one of your best results so far?
CH: Sunday was one of our more convincing results, I would say. We managed to keep it tight at the back and create many chances. I think it could and should have been more.
WSS: What was the most pleasing aspect of the teams performance on Sunday?
CH: I'd say having a mix of goalscorers, it's always good to have players all over the pitch scoring and not relying on just one player.
WSS: The win takes you up into fifth place, do you feel that the team has settled into the league now?
CH: I think we've given a good account of ourselves. A think our results have shown that there are no easy games in this league but that we are up for the challenge. We've had some disappointing results but some where we have maybe surprised a few of the teams that are well established at this level.
WSS: Just how difficult though was it to make a step up in level, especially when the team hadn't been able to play any competitive football for several months?
CH: I don't think we're afraid to say it's been an eye opener for us all. The step up is huge, not just on the pitch but off it also, there's a lot that goes into it but as players we've realised the step up means us as a group and individuals stepping up our own performances and working on things that in the past we maybe didn't need to focus on. The impact Covid had on our pre-season made it difficult to prepare maybe as we originally would have liked, but that's not an excuse, we have enjoyed every minute already.
WSS: This week you play away against another Staffordshire team in Burton Albion, what sort of game are you expecting against them?
CH: We expect another tough game, Burton have made some good signings and have had some impressive results. We're looking forward to it.
WSS: Overall, how have you been finding it in the National League this season? Did you bring in many new players to the squad the summer?
CH: We're loving every minute, it's been a learning curve already! The step up shows that mistakes are punished that we may have got away with in the past. The tempo is a lot quicker but ultimately that we are in a league that we feel we belong in. Every game is competitive, meaning you have to be at it week in week out. We kept a solid core amount of players from last season that had got us to where we are now, as a group we have a lot of belief in one another. We managed to bring in one or two new faces that have strengthened us and have fitted in well.
WSS: What do you think realistically would mean a good season for Leek Town?
CH: Realistically, as a newly promoted team, staying in this league would mean a good season surely? But as a group, we set ourselves big expectations and want to finish as high up the league as possible.
WSS: Who are you expecting to be amongst the title challengers in your division as the season goes on?
CH: Going off how things have started, I think I have to respect the start Boldmere are having. They are an established team at this level and have what appears to be a good set up. But to be honest, what I know is that the teams at this level are all good enough to be title challengers. It's an exciting league to be a part of and one we are proud to be a part of.
Our thanks to Cassie!
Photo by Martin Kessel
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