Katie Zelem

Katie Zelem: I can't wait for our Chelsea game

Saturday 05 September 2020 18:03

Manchester United Women's captain Katie Zelem shares her thoughts on Sunday's opening fixture in the 2020/21 WSL season, at home to the champions Chelsea...

It’s a bit of an understatement to say I’m excited about Sunday. I think we worked out that we had 17 weeks away from normal training and then seven weeks of pre-season. It’s been over half a year since we’ve played a competitive match.

Lockdown for my housemate Jess (Sigsworth) and I consisted of a lot of walking - I’d even say we’re almost professional walkers now - a bit of tennis, and I started doing an online financial trading course, which I’m still going with at my own pace.

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Nothing compares to playing football though and it was an unbelievable feeling to get back to training. There were a few rusty touches at first but it was so great to be back, you could see how excited everyone was by the look on their faces.

Despite all the guidelines and changes to our normal routines, our new signings are settling in really well. They are great additions to the squad; good players as well as good people. A lot of us knew Stan [Lucy Staniforth] already so it was fairly easy for her to settle. She’s a great player with great experience and I’m looking forward to playing with her.
Ivana [Fuso] and Ona [Batlle] have settled superbly too. They offer us a different dimension on the pitch which is just what we needed. Ivana is a fantastic attacking player. Wherever she plays, she always looks threatening so I’m hoping she will bring us a few more goals.

Ona is going to bring us solidity. It’s difficult to play left-back as a right-footer but she’s mastered that and she’s great going forward too.

Our aim for 2020/21 is to improve on last year’s league finish. We want to break into the top three, to be playing Champions League football. It will be tough, given some of the best teams in Europe are here playing in the WSL, so we will have to beat them to get there, but with the squad we’ve got we’re confident we can.
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One of the teams we’ll have to challenge is Chelsea. We couldn’t have asked for a bigger game to start the season than against the Champions. Small margins cost us against them last season, so we know we have to be on the top of our game for the full 90 minutes. It will be a great test of where we’re at.

It will be a very different experience for us without the supporters there to cheer us on - the fans are such a huge part of this club. We’ll really miss you but we know you will be supporting us in different ways as much as you can and we can’t wait to see you all again soon.

Get ready for next season. Our 2020/21 home and away kits are available now from United Direct.

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