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I felt I needed a challenge - Rachel
 Women's Football News 13 Jul 2004
I felt I needed a challenge - Rachel - 13 Jul 2004 - Women's Football NewsNew Birmingham City signing Rachel Yankey is full of anticipation over her move to her new club after four years at Fulham, describing it as a "challenge".
"It's more of a challenge for me than anywhere else," the England winger told Women's Soccer Scene. "Hopefully it will help my game and give me more experience. The club is a good one, they have been bringing a lot of talent through and that is not luck - that is the mark of a good set up.
"I thought that it was the right time to leave Fulham, although it was a difficult decision as I've enjoyed every year with them. The experience of being there has brought me on so much - it's meant that I've been one of only 20 professional women footballers in this country. I just felt I needed a challenge to better myself. Birmingham came in for me, Marcus (Bignot) told me the plans for the club and what they want to do, and I wanted to be a part of that."
Rachel is Birmingham's second big name signing of the summer after Amanda Barr and more are due in the near future, so how high will expectations be for the new season? "Obviously people are going to say that Birmingham will challenge, with the players they've just signed," says Rachel, "but the team will need time to gel. It's a bit like last season at Fulham really when the club had to rebuild the squad, but we still finished third and reached a Cup Final so anything like that kind of season would be fine. We just need time to adjust to each other.
"A top three finish would be amazing for the club, but let's wait and see. I am a competitive person, though, and I want to win things!"
Since winning promotion to the top division, Birmingham have found goals relatively hard to come by but Rachel now feels this can change. "Munch (Amanda Barr) scores so many goals in league football and there's no doubt in my mind that she will score as many next season. Karen Carney is an excellent young player and has the quality to feed the ball to the strikers, and I hope that she and I can provide a good supply."
Two weeks ago, Rachel was the sole woman footballer invited to help parade the Olympic Torch around the streets of London. "I was asked by the British Olympic Association and I couldn't believe it when I read their letter! It was a great day, a lot of fun, and I was honoured to have been asked. I didn't actually hold the torch, I ran just behind as an escort for around 400 yards."
Photo - Andy Shaw.

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